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Meet your new favourite athlete!

Meet your new favourite athlete!

Posted 7 March 2013   by Anthony         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: Sarah Stewart, athlete, go veg

How many people do you know who have won three Paralympic medals, have their own Mini-Me made out of Lego, and loved animals so much they went vegan while still in their teens? Not many? Well, prepare to meet one - the amazing Sarah Stewart!

Sarah has represented Australia over 150 times in wheelchair basketball, is studying towards a PhD at Sydney Uni and hangs out with pandas when she's in China. She's even been described as a "whirlpool of talent". As a comparison, the only natural disaster I've been compared to was a "blizzard of dandruff". (I haven't worn black t-shirts since.)

Free ThrowSarah took up wheelchair basketball in her early twenties. At first describing it as "Quidditch on wheels", she now sees it more as a game of chess. She got really good, really quick and debuted for Australia against the United States on her birthday. That's an awesome b'day present!

Sarah has gone on to win three Paralympic medals for wheelchair basketball, and is nice enough to show them to me when we're talking. I ask her if she wears them to parties instead of normal jewellery. "No - they're really heavy! After the Paralympics for a couple of months, I do tend to just carry them around with me. People really like to see them and get a kick out of them so it seems like a nice thing to do."

Sarah went vegan when she was about 18, and did so out of her love for animals. "I didn't like the idea of causing pain and suffering and taking life. I wouldn't want to cause pain to my dog, or kill and eat my dog, so the idea of doing that to another animal just because I hadn’t met him or her seemed quite wrong." Her dog Chandler (who is sitting quietly through our talk) was no doubt relieved to hear that!

I was surprised (and happy!) to hear that one of Sarah's Australian team-mates is vegetarian, and one of her Sydney Uni team-mates is also vegan. (Discover more compassionate athletes here!) Sarah says that her coaches are cool with her vegan meals, and she rattles off a list of good places to get something to eat in Sydney.

Sarah Stewart Lego

Sarah's list of favourite animals is as long as her list of suggested places to eat in Sydney! "I like a LOT of different animals. I do have a bit of an obsession with cephalopods. And I also like bats. And seals . And dogs, and cows, and cats, and horses and wolves and pigs ..." She trails off laughing.

It turns out that Sarah is also a bit of a Lego nut. "Just a smidgen. I've always loved playing with Lego and building Lego ... and I just didn't stop!" She has a MASSIVE collection of awesome Lego, but definitely the coolest piece is her Lego version of herself, in her Australia uniform, name and number on the back and everything. You know you're a superstar when you've got your own Lego figurine!

So now you know Sarah Stewart - Australian Paralympian, lego addict, and vegan! You can connect with her on twitter: @SarahStewartAus and can catch her playing for the Sydney Uni Flames in the Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League when the season starts in the middle of the year (June through to September - no excuses!)

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