Danielle Campo is a record-setting world champion Paralympic swimmer and a prominent ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada.
Campo was born on January 4, 1985 in Windsor. She has muscular dystrophy.
Campo got her start in swimming through Children’s Rehab, Tecumseh Swim Club, and the Windsor Bulldogs Disabled Sports Club.
In 1998, at the age of 13, Campo set four world records at the Paralympic World Championships in New Zealand. She established the marks in the 50-metre freestyle, 100-metre freestyle, 400-metre individual medley relay, and 400-metre freestyle relay events.
Two years later, at the 2000 Summer Paralympic Games in Sydney, Campo won three gold medals and one silver in freestyle swimming while competing in category 7. (Paralympic swimmers with physical disabilities are categorized between 1 and 10 in descending order of the severity of their disability. The categorization 1 corresponds to the most severe types of disability.) She captured gold in the 100-metre freestyle S7 race with a world-record time of 1:14.64. Her gold performance in the 50-metre freestyle S7 time of 34.98 was a Paralympic record. Campo also won gold in the 4×100-metre freestyle 34pts event with a world record time of 4:38.01. Her silver medal came in the 400-metre freestyle S7 race.
In 2002, at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Campo won three gold medals and two silver medals. They included golds in the 50-metre freestyle S7 and 100-metre freestyle S7 races and silver in the 400-metre freestyle S7 competition.
Campos also competed that year at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. She won bronze in the 50-metre EAD freestyle, which involved swimmers in other classifications. He time of 35.02 was a Games record for her classification.
At the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games in Athens, Campo captured a final three medals. She won bronze in the 50-metre freestyle S7 and 500-metre freestyle S7 and silver in the 4×100-metre freestyle 34pts race.
Campo has received many prestigious honours over her career, including Swim Ontario’s Athlete of the Year award and the Minister of Sports and Recreation Ontario Athlete of the Year award, both in 1998. In 2000, Campo was named Ontario’s Junior Citizen of the Year, and she became a member of the Order of Ontario in 2001. Campo was notably awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. She also received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award in 2005.
At the time of her induction, Campo continued to work as an ambassador and fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada.