PARALYMPIC gold medallist Kingsley Bugarin will be representing the spirit of the Commonwealth when he carries the Queen’s Baton on Monday, February 26 through Guildford.
The Midland resident is a vision impaired swimmer who competed in five consecutive Summer Paralympics from 1984 to 2000, winning a total of five gold, eight silver, and six bronze medals.
Bugarin holds the Australian record for the highest Paralympic individual medal count and still holds the world record for the 200m breaststroke in class S12 with a time of 2:35:21 which he obtained at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.
He retired from high level competition after Sydney 2000 and took up open water swimming.
Bugarin said he didn’t take up competitive swimming until the age of 14.
“I initially started out as a track and field athlete but the Association for the Blind dragged me along to a swimming session and I took it from there,” he said.
Bugarin is one of seven City of Swan community members who will help carry the Queen’s Baton during the 100-day countdown to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
They were selected by the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation to run the Guildford leg of the relay, for their exceptional contribution to the community.
Those selected from the City include Robert Allen, Michelle Dunlop, Kade Hampson and Robert Whitney.
The City of Swan leg of the Baton Relay will kick off at the Midland Town Hall and conclude with a big celebration in Stirling Square, with a packed route of fun and festivities in between.
For those wanting to follow the Baton’s journey along the route, there are plenty of positions to get the best vantage point including a mini fair ad Woodbridge Park, and special events at Governor Stirling and Guildford Grammar Schools.