Kiwi Paralympian nominee in Laureus World Sports Awards
New Zealand Paralympian #164 Cameron Leslie is a nominee in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards for his achievements in 2022.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sporting awards. First held in 2000, the annual event honours the greatest and most inspirational sporting achievements from the year. Few Kiwis have won Laureus Awards: Dan Carter and (separately) the All Blacks in 2016, Sir Peter Blake in 2002, and Levi Sherwood in 2011.
Leslie is a nominee for World Sportsperson with a Disability for the 2023 Laureus World Sport Awards. He is nominated alongside:
- Swiss wheelchair racer Catherine Debrunner
- US Para ice hockey player Declan Farmer
- Dutch Wheelchair tennis player Diede de Groot
- Norwegian Para alpine skier Jesper Pedersen
- US Para cross country skier and Para cyclist Oksana Masters
A dual Paralympian, Leslie competes in both Wheelchair rugby for the Wheel Blacks, and Para swimming. He has set the world record for the Men’s 150m Individual Medley SM4 multiple times and continues to hold the title.
33-year-old Leslie is well-known in New Zealand for his Paralympic gold-medal-winning performances in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016. Leslie withdrew from the New Zealand Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020 due to the imminent birth of his second child and COVID travel restrictions.
Cameron Leslie’s sporting achievements in 2022
Following that difficult decision, the dual Paralympian hasn’t been idle. In June 2022, he returned to the World Para Swimming Championships in the form of his life, winning a gold and three silver medals. He also set a new world best time in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S4, becoming the first S4 Para swimmer to go under the 37-second mark (later beaten by another competitor).
Meanwhile in Wheelchair rugby, Leslie co-captained the Wheel Blacks at the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship in Denmark in October. The Wheel Blacks tested their mettle against the best teams in the world, finishing strong in 8th place.
Outside of competing, Leslie fosters the grassroots talent in Para swimming, working as Disability and Para Swimming Participation Manager for Swimming New Zealand. His aim is to make a difference with the next generation of athletes, whatever their level of ambition.