Hamilton paralympian Summer Mortimer tops Ontario Sport Awards

After a multi-medal finish including gold at the 2012 London Paralympics, Mortimer brings home another win at the Ontario Sport Awards. We put Five Questions to the Ancaster swimmer

We put 5 Questions to Paralympian Summer Mortimer after win as Female Athlete with a Disability of the Year.

Ancaster's star swimmer Summer Mortimer, nickname Storm, had a momentous 2012.

At the Paralympics in London she won two gold medals, a silver, a bronze and broke her own world record. On Tuesday night, she nabbed another title. She is now a Female Athlete with a Disability of the Year winner at the Ontario Sport Awards, the highest recognition for excellence in amateur sport. Her coach, Reg Chappel, also won that night, taking home the Male Coach of the Year.

Back in 2008 Mortimer was an able-bodied swimmer in the Beijing Olympic trials. Four years ago, she had a trampoline accident. Doctors were considering amputating her feet, but she fought her way out of a wheelchair, onto her feet, and dove into medal contention.

Questions with Summer Mortimer:

What did you learn about yourself at the 2012 Paralympics?

Doing what I do and being in Paralympics is always a learning process for me, being able to realize that I can still do things after having my accident and that I have been able to achieve something, doing more than I thought I could. I'm very pessimistic towards myself. I'm optimistic towards other people. When it comes to criticizing, I'm probably the hardest person on me. It's always a learning process as time goes on.

What lesson did you take from the other Paralympians you met?

I'm very hard upon myself, being around people who have different abilities as well and seeing their attitude, what they can achieve with their different abilities, I was inspired and more motivated. It's bad. It hurts. But it could have been a lot worse.

How has your life changed after the Paralympics?

It's certainly gotten busier in terms of speaking engagements and interviews, which is always flattering. I think the biggest way it's changed is I've got little kids sending me e-mails. I inspire them and it's a very humbling experience.

Buchanan Park Elementary (School), went there a couple months back to speak at the school, grade five's. I met two little girls in wheelchairs. They are both fantastic girls.

CBC Hamilton's coverage of Mortimer's visit to Buchanan Park Elementary School

What are your goals now?

I'd like to get some schooling done, rebuilding friendships from the lost time. Training and preparing for the next 3-4 years. Next major event? Not sure. I'm staying away from competing and focusing on recovering and being back where I need to be.

What is the best part of not being in training?

The extra time you have. It's nice having extra time because you eat like an athlete but your body doesn't stay like an athlete.