Liam Malone graduates from university after juggling study with Paralympic training video

CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ.

Paralympian Liam Malone takes part in the Victoria University Graduates Parade

As if training for the Paralympics wasn't enough.

At the same time sprinter Liam Malone was preparing for the 2016 games in Rio - where he went on to win two gold medals and a silver - he was also taking five papers a semester to get through his Bachelor's in Marketing and International Business at Victoria University in Wellington.

Malone, who graduated on Tuesday, said it had been a long three years to get to where he was.

Paralympian gold medal winner Liam Malone in the graduation march on Tuesday.
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Paralympian gold medal winner Liam Malone in the graduation march on Tuesday.

Studying was a hard task alongside training, and it took a lot of planning and scheduling to keep on top of things, he said.

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About 1000 Victoria University graduates marched ahead of their graduation ceremony on Tuesday.
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

About 1000 Victoria University graduates marched ahead of their graduation ceremony on Tuesday.

"A lot of the time I was playing catch up and behind, and that was difficult, I just tried to stay consistent. My course coordinators and tutors were very understanding – giving me flexibility in deadlines and offering support."

Malone had not considered delaying his studies to focus on running.

"Life's short. I watched my mum die when I was 18, it was a good reminder you want to do as many things as possible."

The runner had been selected to give the graduate address at Tuesday's ceremony, which he said was an honour.

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"When I was 18, I ... couldn't get a job in New Zealand. I ended up on the benefit for a small time. I went to Perth where I had a terrible job and I felt very, very useless at that point in my life," he said.

"Coming to Victoria, a university that prides itself on global thinking, is a huge honour."

The 23-year-old had a goal beyond university: to be faster than sprinter Usain Bolt, making him the fastest person on the planet.

Once that goal is achieved he would like to work for someone who is "really smart" and is "working at a really hard problem".

"Even if I don't have an important role, it would be fun to be part in something new."

Malone, who has a passion for technology, said the value of his life had been determined by his own hi-tech prosthetics. As society relied on technology, it was important to build new things, he said.

He was one of about 1000 graduates from the faculties of architecture and design, law, and Victoria's business school.

About 2200 people are expected to graduate throughout the week, with another parade for the rest of the graduates taking place on Thursday.

 - Stuff

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