Danielle Dorris captured Canada’s fourth gold medal of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, adding to her own trophy case along with the silver she won earlier in the Games.
The 18-year-old broke a world record, being the first female to swim the women’s 50-metre butterfly S7 in under 33 seconds.
The Maritimer’s finish of 32.99 seconds on Friday narrowly broke the previous world mark held by Mallory Weggemann of the United States, which was 33.81 seconds.
“When I saw the time, I was honestly very shocked,” Dorris said after the race. “I was not prepared to go under 33. Even though it’s only by 0.1, I’ll still take it.”
Dorris said once she exited the pool, she approached her coach with the news he’d be presenting the gold medal to her.
“I said, ‘You’re gonna come put my medal on me’ and he started to tear up,” she said.
The Moncton, N.B. native ended up on top after a rocky start when she finished in fourth, just missing the podium during the 200-metre individual medley.
“Fly is very much the event that I love the most, so being able to medal, let alone win gold, is very special to me,” she said, reflecting back on her race.
Dorris is proud of her accomplishments and is ready for her family and friends to cheer her on at the next Paralympics.
“Hopefully in Paris I’ll make the finals again, and hopefully have the crowd there,” she said, referring to COVID protocols.
Now that Tokyo 2020 is coming to an end, Dorris looks forward to her arrival home.
“I am definitely anticipating my mother crying,” she said. “My dad, beside her — hopefully.”