Guy wins race to swim for Australia

Natalie Brown
Guy wins race to swim for Australia

When Guy Harrison-Murray gets in the pool or the ocean, he breaks records which could earn him the chance of a Paralympics medal.

The 17-year-old English boy has the skills to bring home a medal for Australia but there is a vital piece missing - his passport.

With the cut-off for registration into the Rio Paralympics closing yesterday, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and City of Perth stepped in at the eleventh hour to keep Guy's medal hopes alive, holding a private ceremony to make the swimmer an Australian citizen.

In what is believed to be one of the only cases for a minor in WA, the department granted a rare distinguished talent visa to the youngster to allow his citizenship to be granted at Council House yesterday in time for him to register.

Deputy Lord Mayor Rob Butler declared the teenager an Australian citizen in front of fellow swimmers and his father.

Born with congenital bilateral talipes, a condition where his feet are twisted out of position, Guy will vie for entry in the S10 category for competitors with the least severe disabilities.

Though he had always been a keen swimmer in his former hometown of Bath, it wasn't until he moved to Australia in 2011 that his talent in the sport flourished.

"The reason I'm a good swimmer is because of Australian coaches and Australian help," Guy said. "So I think it's only fair I swim for them."