Rachael Watson


Rachael Watson is a para-swimmer, holding two gold medals from the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and two silvers and a bronze from the 2019 and 2022 World Para Swimming Championships. She holds the Women’s 50m Freestyle S4 Paralympic record of 39.36 seconds, from her win in Tokyo, and the world record in the same category which she claimed in 2017 at the Australian Swimming Championships.

Ms Watson was born with mild cerebral palsy but was independent and able to walk, and later acquired Guillain-Barré syndrome that led to severe muscle weakness and peripheral nervous system damage resulting in the use of a wheelchair. Swimming has formed a critical part of her physiotherapy. She holds a UQ Blue Award for Sporting Excellence, and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2017. Rachael was awarded the UQ Sportswoman of the Year in 2022.


UQ Sport Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year
Rachael Watson professional headshot