Melburnian Sam Bramham is no stranger to testing himself physically. The gold medal-winning former Paralympic swimmer has tackled many challenges throughout his life, including reality TV (yes, that was him on Big Brother in 2014).
Sam, who was born without the femur in his right leg, has won over new fans with his latest TV challenge – taking on the gruelling course on Australian Ninja Warrior. He talks to us about his time on the show, and his plans for the future.
Australian Ninja Warrior
- 7.30pm Sunday, Monday and Tuesday
- Nine Network
What made you want to tackle Australian Ninja Warrior?
The initial want came from seeing a guy with one leg from the US doing it. Someone from the office sent me a YouTube clip and I wanted to do it, too. I always like to revel in new opportunities, if I don’t, I tend to get myself into some sort of trouble.
Ninja Warrior was a great way to give the new prosthetic leg a bashing and to see if my body can still hack being pushed to its limits. Ironically, it wasn’t the leg-focused obstacles that brought my elimination, it was an upper-body one.
How did you train?
I should have prepared more. I arrogantly believed that muscle memory from my swimming days would be the best benefit for me on the course, but I was very wrong. I focused on building muscle [at the gym]. I have had two shoulder reconstructions, so it was important to get professional support. I definitely want to do it again next year, so I will be working on my rope grip.
What has the reaction been?
I have been really overwhelmed with the feedback. Of course, my immediate contact circle are giving me s— for falling off so early. But it has been great to hear that my participation has been inspiring people in some way. My partner, Rita, seems to be really impressed and we have dedicated ourselves to a fitness regime again – so people’s feedback, in turn, has inspired me. I do hope that does encourage the disability community to give stuff a crack, too. It’s a great way to build confidence and understand what their bodies can actually do. I think the negative stigma that surrounds disability is disappearing and it’s because we are putting ourselves out there.
What are you up to at the moment?
Still chipping away at random things. I collect antique items and nostalgic marketing pieces and sell them within the collectors’ community. We are a strange bunch of people, but I like it. I am going back to training for a triathlon and a few swimming events coming up. My radio, speaking and commentary work takes up a lot of my time and keeps me out of trouble. My partner and I also want to open up an antique-styled wine bar soon, too.
Are you still living in Melbourne?
I travel a lot for work, but Melbourne is home. Rita and I have just moved into a new property and we have been working on the garden – that’s a big challenge. We live in the northern suburbs and frequent the Fitzroy area for the bars and restaurants. Some really good shops too … where I can rummage around for some cool pieces from times past.
What’s the next challenge?
Fatherhood. I can’t wait to start a family and make some Mini-Mes. I definitely want to pursue my commentating career further and finish a comedy script that my mate Ciaran Doherty and I have been working on. It’s a screenplay based around our previous professional careers and the characters we have met along the way. It’s coming together really well. We get on the beers and just type away.