Five times Paralympian Kenny Cairns retired from swimming prior to the Beijing Games, due to ill health. Since Kenny was first selected for the Paralympic Games in 1984, he has won medals in major swimming championship events all over the world. Kenny won 13 Paralympic medals, including 4 golds at the Games of 1984 at Stoke Mandeville. This is just part of the story of this exceptional swimmer.
16 medals in successive World championship between 1990 and 2006, including 7 gold. 21 medals in European Championships between 1991 and 2001 including 12 gold. Kenny is a past freestyle world record holder for 100 and 200 metres in class S3, and at the World Championships in South Africa in 2006 he demonstrated he was still a force in world swimming after over twenty years at the top by winning 4 medals including 2 gold.
Kenny identifies his club coach as major influence in his life and his contribution to British sport was recognised by the award of MBE. Under the watchful eye of coach Eddie McCluskey, Port Glasgow Otters most famous son has influenced Scottish and British swimming in so many ways. Despite continued success on the world stage Kenny has always faithfully supported local and national swimming galas organised by SDS all over the country.
Each time he entered the pool Kenny offered nothing less than 100 per cent. In his spare time Kenny loves music and is a very talented harmonica player. Like so many other Scottish high performance athletes, he is always prepared to make himself available to promote the disability sport movement and encourage others with swimming potential.
Kenny Cairns is an exceptional national ambassador whose legacy will always be the quality of his swimming strokes and the successes he recorded in world swimming over two decades.