Jessica Ashwood currently holds the Australian record for both the 400m and 800m freestyle. Jessica was diagnosed in her early teens with a severe S-shaped scoliosis. She has forgone both scoliosis surgery and scoliosis bracing because both treatments would end her career.
Her S-curve creates a challenge as it affects her balance both in and out of water and weakens one of her arms. This causes Ashwood to swim crooked so she has developed a unique stroke technique to compensate for the uneven strength and position in the water.
Ashwood suffers from significant neck and back pain and must have two physiotherapy sessions a week after training to realign her spine.