The Saskatoon swimmer set a world record in the S7 women’s 50-metre-backstroke in Berlin, Germany.
Her time of 38.00 beat the old mark of 38.32 set by China’s Keting Li at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
The 22-year-old education student at the University of Saskatchewan describes herself as, “a goal orientated person.”
Her long-term goal is the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Many look at Newkirk’s accomplishments and are inspired by what the young swimmer has already accomplished.
If her actions have inspired others, she is happy and humbled to hear that.
“I always admired the strength that other people had, and I looked for inspiration in what other people could do. So to be able to do that for somebody else, it is absolutely amazing,” Newkirk said.
“I’m so proud to do that for others and other people on my team, the people in Saskatchewan and around Canada for sure.”
Newkirk’s coach Eric Kramer also received an honor from Swimming Canada, as the female para-swimmer coach of the year.
He said Newkirk will have pressure put on her as she gets closer to the Olympics as a medal hopeful for Canada, but he will do his best to deflect any outside pressure on his swimmer.
“There are some pressures from swimming Canada because she’s a potential gold medal winner, so there is an expectation, but it will stop right here,” Kramer said.
“I’m going to stop everything, then nothing gets through me. I’m going to remain the same, I’ll deal with that stuff and she can stay neutral.”