Two-time Paralympian Katarina Roxon will start 2013 as one of the newest members of Memorial University's Sea-Hawks swim team.

Roxon, 19, represented Canada at the 2012 Paralympics in London, placing fifth in the women's SB8 100-metre breaststroke.

The Kippens native said it was both disappointing and encouraging to come that close to a medal.

"Just being fifth in the world, you know you're two spots away from a medal. It definitely makes me want to push harder in my training now, so I can get a medal," she said.

Took time off

After the London games, she returned home to the west coast of Newfoundland, and took three months off from swimming.

Now well rested, Katarina is preparing to move to St. John's to start classes at Memorial University and swim with the Sea-Hawks. 

"It's going to be different then what it is here," said Roxon. "Because when I go to St. John's I'll be on a team with a lot more people than just me, swimming here by myself in the pool."

Roxon turned down an offer to study at McMaster University in Hamilton, and swim for that university's team, to be closer to her family.

Change will be good

Her father and coach, Leonard Roxon, said the change will be good for his daughter.

"When you are competing against yourself to improve on your time it's harder," said Leonard Roxon. "But in St. John's, she's going to be in the middle of the pack, which means she is going to be able to compete with people who are faster than her.

"Plus, training with able bodied swimmers helps push her even faster than what she is."

Roxon said she will have a lot on her plate over the next few months.

Besides adjusting to university life away from home, she will be training for world swimming trials in Minneapolis, Minnesota in April and a world championship in August. 

As she continues her studies, Roxon will keep an eye on her long-term goal of winning a medal at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.