- Category: Ski & Snowboard
How did you become involved in your sport and what events do you compete in?
Athletics- When I found out about the Paralympics the first sport I decided to try was Athletics as I had done well at it throughout high school. I compete in Long Jump and Javelin and have also previously competed in Discus, Shot Put and 100m.
Alpine Skiing- After the Australian Paralympic Committee discovered I could snowboard they asked if I would be interested in learning to ski. I picked it up very quickly and progressed from there. I compete in all Alpine Skiing events. Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, Super Combined and Downhill.
Who is your sporting hero?
James Hird. As a little girl my Dad used to take me to the footy to watch him. He was the complete athlete, talented, intelligent and great sportsmanship.
Age you started in your sport?
Athletics- I always competed at high school carnivals but didn't take up athletics as a sport until I was 21.Alpine Skiing- I firs learnt to ski as a 22 year old.
Bachelor Applied Science (Osteopathy)Master of Osteopathy Bath from RMIT University, Melbourne.
What motivates you to continue in your sport?
The desire to be the best in the world, achieve my dreams and reach my full potential as an athlete.
What motivated you to start your sport?
When my sight deteriorated to the extent that I wasn't able to play netball or basketball anymore I felt lost. Finding out about the Paralympics reignited that desire and competitive passion I have inside.
What is your current business/job?
I am a full time athlete and work as an Osteopath part time .
Who do you race for club/state and what is your competitive history?
At National series meets I compete for the Victorian Institute of Sport and locally I compete for Glen Huntly.
People that have inspired you both in sport and life?
My Mum is my biggest inspiration. She is a successful athlete herself and has given me the opportunity and support to achieve my wildest dreams.
Great experiences that have happened in your life?
Becoming the first Australian women in Paralympic history to win a winter Paralympic medal was the greatest day of my life. It also happened on my 24th birthday, there's nothing better than standing atop of the podium knowing you have done your family, friends, team mates and country proud.
Your interests and hobbies?
I love travelling and spending time with family and friends.
One tip or quote that continues to inspire you?
'Why follow paths left by others when you can create your path and destiny'.
Were you always one of the better athletes growing up?
I am a fast learner so generally pick up things very quickly. In year 12 I received my high school's highest honour, the Caltex All Rounder award for the student who had been the most successful over academics, sport, music etc.
What is one thing you would share with the children wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Believe in yourself, if your willing to put in the hard work anything is possible.
How has being involved/playing your sport changed your life?
It has completely changed my life. Growing up all I wanted to do was represent my country in sport, now I get to do it in a summer and winter sport! I am living the life I always wanted and I love every moment of it. There are many highs and lows but I have experienced some amazing things and I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had. Obviously losing my sight was devastating but I feel blessed that I discovered the Paralympics and I am extremely proud to call myself an Australian Paralympian.
Who has been your biggest supporter?
My Mum has been my biggest supporter.
Who has been your best coach?
I have had some amazing coaches throughout my journey, all of which have shaped the athlete and more importantly the person I am today and I consider them all family.
Sporting Background(sports you grew up playing) and list of achievements/results?
Growing up I played representative level netball and basketball. As a junior my greatest achievement was being named as an emergency in the U16 Australian netball team. As my sight continued to deteriorate I was no longer able to play these sports as I couldn't see the ball. Luckily a few years later I found out about the Paralympics!
My results at major championships.
Bronze Slalom Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics: First Australian women in Paralympic history to win a winter Paralympic medal.
7th Giant Slalom Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics -
Silver Long Jump IPC World Athletics Championships 2011-
Bronze Javelin IPC World Athletics Championships 2011 First Australian athlete to medal at a summer and winter major championship.
In Alpine Skiing 2009/2010 winter I finished 3rd in the Overall World Cup Slalom title, had 2 World Cup Podiums and became the first Australian female to podium at an IPC World Cup event.
In track and field I also have Oceania and National records to my name and a national title.
Favourite Foods/Diet you follow?
I am big sweet tooth. Love my chocolate but as I am on a strict diet I don't eat it much anymore. When in track and field mode my diet is a lot stricter as I don't burn as many calories as when I am ski racing. I am usually on a high protein diet so I can maintain lean upper and lower body muscle mass. When skiing it's still high protein but more specifically tailored to ensure strong powerful legs. My body composition changes significantly depending on which sport I am competing in at the time.
Worst injury you have suffered?
ACL/ MCL complete tear as a junior playing netball which resulted in needing a full knee reconstruction.
What is the ultimate prize in your sport?
Paralympic gold medals!
What do you find to be the toughest aspect of your sport?
Track and field- Javelin! I need to put myself in extreme extension positions which the body is not made to do! It's very hard on the body especially the back and elbow. It is the 2nd most difficult event (technique wise) in track and field because of the unusual positions required.
Alpine Skiing- The fear factor. Throwing yourself down a mountain at top speeds when you have low vision and are relying on your guide to give you the information on things you can't see requires an incredible level of trust and practise.
Where is your favourite Ski Slopes?
Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado, US.A. I lived here for 2 winters before I found out about the Paralympics and it is also the Australian Paralympic Winter team base. It is my home away from home. I love the town, the atmosphere, the race hills and the amazing back bwls. Nothing beats a blue bird day in Vail!
What one lesson did you take from your parents?
My Mum always taught me to try everything at least once as you never know what you might be good at. I was given the opportunity to learn to ski, I was fast tracked and 150 of on snow training days later I became Australia's first female winter Paralympic medallist.
How do you deal with temptation?
I try not to put myself in positions which I know will cause me to be tempted!
What is your favourite music/band/song?
I listen to all kinds of music, it really just depends on what type of mood I'm in!
What is your biggest fear?
I don't really have any fears more that I want to live my life with no regrets.
Have you ever failed at anything? If yes how did you overcome this?
If I am ever disappointed with a result I look back over it and learn from it to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
What inspired you to succeed?
The desire to be the best at what I do.
What did you want to be as a kid growing up?
Growing up I wanted to represent Australia in sport and be involved in the sports medical industry. That's exactly what I'm doing now!
Your future goals in your sports, and goals when you finish your sport?
My main long term goal is to become the first Australian athlete to medal at a summer and winter Paralympics. After sport I'd love to work as the Osteo for an elite sporting team, have a family and most importantly be happy.
What is your worst fear?
It's not something I really think about at all but I would hate to lose more of my sight.
What is one item you cannot live without?
People you would like to thank?(Sponsors, Coaches, Family or Friends)
I have a huge base of support. Family, friends, team mates, coaches, and my incredible team at the VIS, the AIS and the Australian Paralympic Committee.
Any further comments
Outside of sport I am also.- Ambassador for the Australian Paralympic Committee- Global Ambassador for Vision 2020 Australia- Ambassador for Vision Australia- Ambassador for 2XU- Ambassador Kx Pilates
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