Australia at the 2008 Summer Paralympics
|Australia at the Paralympic Games|
|At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing|
|Competitors||167 in 13 sports|
|Flag bearer||Russell Short (Opening)
Matthew Cowdrey (Closing)
|Paralympic history (summary)|
Australia sent a delegation to compete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing. The country sent 167 (95 male and 72 female) athletes in 13 sports (out of 20) and 122 officials. It was the country's largest ever Paralympic delegation to an away Games. The delegation's chef de mission was Darren Peters.
Australia won 23 gold, 29 silver and 27 bronze medals. It finished fourth on the total medal tally and fifth on the gold medal tally.
Major sporting achievements for the Australian team included:
- Matthew Cowdrey, an arm amputee swimmer, winning five gold and three silver medals to be the Games' leading athlete.
- Peter Leek, a cerebral palsy swimmer, winning eight medals including three gold.
- Heath Francis, an arm amputee sprinter and Evan O'Hanlon, cerebral palsy sprinter winning three gold medals.
- Kurt Fearnley, a wheelchair racer, winning the marathon for the second time.
- Australian men's wheelchair basketball team winning gold.
- 98 Australian athletes won a medal.
- Australian athletes: 21 new world records, 31 Paralympic records, 79 Australian records and 164 personal bests.
Representing Australia in athletics:
Men – Zac Ashkanasy (Guide runner), Jonathan Bernard, Damien Bowen, Matthew Cameron, Aaron Chatman, Richard Colman, Roy Daniell, Rodney Farr, Kurt Fearnley, Dennis Fitzgerald (Guide runner), Heath Francis, Gerrard Gosens, Greg Hibberd, Bruce Jones (Guide runner), Hamish MacDonald, Wade McMahon, Christopher Mullins, Richard Nicholson, Evan O'Hanlon, Paul Pearce (Guide runner), Paul Raison, Michael Roeger, Brad Scott, Russell Short, Ian Speed, Tim Sullivan, Christopher Tagg (Guide runner), Darren Thrupp, Julien Wicks (Guide runner), Stephen Wilson
Women – Angela Ballard, Carlee Beattie, Jennifer Bryce, Gemma Buchholz, Kelly Cartwright, Christie Dawes, Madison de Rozario, Louise Ellery, Amanda Fraser, Jessica Gallagher, Courtney Harbeck, Madeleine Hogan, Kirrilee McPherson, Lisa McIntosh, Brydee Moore, Jemima Moore, Kathryn Parrish, Kath Proudfoot, Tahlia Rotumah, Charlotte Saville, Julie Smith, Noni Thompson, Jodi Willis-Roberts, and Christine Wolf
Coaches – Scott Goodman (Head Coach), Alison O'Riordan, Andrew Dawes, Brett Jones, Louise Sauvage, Iryna Dvoskina, John Minns, John Eden, Alan Makin, Louise Sauvage, Cathy Raha-Lambert Officials – Gary Lees (Section Manager), Louise Mogg (Section Manager),Andrew Carter, Rowena Toppenberg, Sian Pugh, Mick Jordan, Phil Power, Steve Butler, Stephanie Martin, Jessica Gallagher
Jodi Willis-Roberts, Russell Short, and Darren Thrupp competed at their sixth Paralympics. Jessica Gallagher was selected in the team but was classified ineligible to compete. She attended the Games as a member of staff.
Australia won 10 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze medals. Australian athletes set six world records, a further three Paralympic records and 16 Australian records during the Games. Heath Francis and Evan O'Hanlon won three gold medals.
Representing Australia in cycling:
Men – Greg Ball, Ben Demery, Michael Gallagher, Steven George (Pilot), Shaun Hopkins (Pilot), Tyson Lawrence (Pilot), Mark Le Flohic, Bryce Lindores, Michael Milton, Kieran Modra, Christopher Scott
Women – Jane Armstrong, Toireasa Gallagher (Pilot), Lindy Hou, Felicity Johnson, Melissa Leckie, Jayme Paris, Katie Parker (Pilot)
Coaches – James Victor (Head Coach), Tom Skulander, Paul Martens Officials – Mark Fulcher (Section Manager), Brett Hidson, Anouska Edwards, Alan Downes, Mark Bullen, Stuart Smith, Murray Lydeamore.
Included on the Australian team was Michael Milton, a four-time gold medalist as a skier in the Winter Paralympics. Mark le Flohic, gold medalist at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Paralympics, was to take part in the Beijing Games but had to pull out due to injury. Le Flohic broke his collar bone during training one week before the Games were to begin.
Australia won 3 gold, 5 and 7 bronze medals.
Representing Australia in equestrian:
Women – Grace Bowman, Georgia Bruce, Sharon Jarvis, Nicole Kullen, Jan Pike Coaches – Mary Longden (Head Coach),David Bowman, Sally Francis Officials – Ken Dagley (Section Manager), Doug Denby, Nicola Reynoldson, Michelle Goodrick, Judy Fyfe, Margaret Keyes, Emma Bardot, Ebony Tucker, Terrina Fairbrother, Liz Wright-Smith, Chris Elliott, Carolyn Lieutenant.
Australia won 2 bronze medals through Georgia Bruce's performances. The competition was held in Hong Kong.
Australia won a silver medal with Darren Gardiner repeating his medal success from the Athens Games.
Representing Australia in rowing: Single scull – Dominic Monypenny, Double scull – John Maclean, Kathryn Ross Coaches – Peter Albisser (Head Coach), Rik Bryan Officials – Adam Horner (Section Manager)
Rowing made its debut at the Beijing Games and Australia competed in two of the four events and won a silver medal in the double scull.
Representing Australia in sailing: Teams – Russell Boaden, Colin Harrison, Graeme Martin – 3-person keelboat Sonar ; Daniel Fitzgibbon, Rachel Cox – 2-person keelboat SKUD 18 ; 2.4mR (single-handed) – Aaron Hill Coaches – Greg Omay (Head Coach), Adrian Finglas Officials – Sarina Macpherson (Section Manager), Linnea Korssell, Sue Crafer, Geoff Milligan, Timothy Lowe
Three of the team made their Paralympic debut. Australia won a silver and bronze medal.
Representing Australia in shooting:
Men – Ashley Adams, Sebastian Hume, Jason Maroney
Women – Libby Kosmala Coaches – Miroslav Sipek (Head Coach), Michelle Fletcher Officials – Nick Sullivan (Section Manager), Anne Bugden
Libby Kosmala competed at her tenth Paralympics. Australia did not win a medal. Australian shooters narrowly missed medals by finishing 4th twice.
Representing Australia in swimming.
Men – Michael Anderson, Ben Austin, Daniel Bell, Sam Bramham, Blake Cochrane, Matthew Cowdrey, Jay Dohnt, Alex Hadley, Brenden Hall, Peter Leek, Matt Levy, Jeremy McClure, Ricardo Moffatti, Stephen Osborne, Andrew Pasterfield, Rick Pendleton, Jeremy Tidy
Women – Sarah Bowen, Ellie Cole, Amanda Drennan, Jacqui Freney, Samantha Gandolfo, Marayke Jonkers, Katrina Lewis, Sian Lucas, Hannah MacDougall, Tarryn McGaw, Rhiannon Oliver, Esther Overton, Katrina Porter, Shelley Rogers, Sarah Rose, Teigan Van Roosmalen, Prue Watt, Annabelle Williams
Coaches – Brendan Keogh (Head Coach), Graeme Carroll, Jackie Barck, Amanda Isaac, Jo Love, Rob Moon, Mel Tantrum Officials – Melanie Jenkins (Section Manager), Jon O'Neill-Shaw, Sandra Eccles, Claire Nichols, Brendan Burkett, Sacha Fulton, Penny Will, Vaughan Nicholson
There were eight men and eleven women making their Paralympic debut. Australia won 9 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals placing it sixth on the swimming medal tally. It was Australia's most successful sport at the Games. Matthew Cowdrey (5 gold and 3 silver) and Peter Leek (3 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze) were the standout swimmers.
Representing Australia in table tennis:
Women – Rebecca Julian, Sarah Lazzaro, Cathy Morrow Coach – Brian Berry (Head Coach) Official – Barbara Talbot (Section Manager) . Catherine Morrow was selected but withdrew from the team.
Australia did not win any medals.
Representing Australia in wheelchair basketball:
Men – Dylan Alcott, Brendan Dowler, Justin Eveson, Michael Hartnett, Adrian King, Tristan Knowles, Grant Mizens, Brad Ness, Shaun Norris, Troy Sachs, Tige Simmons, Brett Stibners Coaches – Ben Ettridge (Head Coach), Craig Friday Officials – Kelvin Browner (section Manager), Ian Lowther
Women – Clare Burzynski, Shelley Chaplin, Cobi Crispin, Melanie Domaschenz, Kylie Gauci, Melanie Hall, Katie Hill, Bridie Kean, Tina McKenzie, Kathleen O'Kelly-Kennedy, Sarah Stewart, Liesl Tesch Coaches – Gerry Hewson (Head Coach), Mark Hewish Officials – Sonia Healy (Section Manager), Emma Whiteside.
Australian men's team known as the 'Rollers' won the gold medal defeating Canada 72–60 in the final and the women's team known as the 'Gliders' won the bronze medal defeating Japan in the playoff.
Representing Australia in wheelchair rugby:
Men – Bryce Alman, Ryley Batt, Grant Boxall, Shane Brand, Cameron Carr, Nazim Erdem, George Hucks, Steve Porter, Ryan Scott, Greg Smith, Scott Vitale Coach – Brad Dubberley (Head Coach) Officials – Kim Ellwood (Section Manager), Rob Doidge, Noni Shelton, Angela Mansell
Three of the team made their Paralympic debut and Steve Porter attended his fourth Games. The Australian team known as the 'Steelers' won the silver medal losing to the United States 53–44 in the final.
Daniela Di Toro competed at her fourth Games. Australia did not win a medal as no athletes progressed past the first round.
Athletes and coaches were supported by administrative and sports medicine and science staff. Administrative staff – Darren Peters (Chef de Mission), Nick Dean (Deputy Chef de Mission), Paul Bird (Chef de Mission), Alison Keys, Jason Hellwig (General Manager), Steve Loader, Michael Hartung, Natalie Jenkins, Caroline Walker, Chris Nunn (Performance Consultant), Jenni Cole, Tony Naar (Chief Information Manager), Graham Cassidy (Media Manager), Margie McDonald, Jordan Baker, Karen Michelmore
Sports medicine and science staff – Larissa Trease, Alison Campbell (Medical Coordinator), Geoff Thompson, Ruben Branson, Sally Heads, John Camens, David Spurrier, Lily Chiu, Richard Bennett, Gary Slater, Jo Vaile
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation provided television coverage of the Games. The Australian Paralympic Committee reported that there was a 65 per cent increase in Australian media coverage of the Games compared to the 2004 Games. Australian athlete Gerrard Gosens commented on the television coverage "When I look back to 1996 and the coverage that was there, it was very minimal. Today when you're looking at over 100 hours of ABC television coverage, that really has brought inspiration not only to many Australians, but in particular people who do have a physical disability and looking at the opportunities, not necessarily the obstacles of sport."
- Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games Official Site
- International Paralympic Committee Historical Results Database – detailed listing of results
- Australian Paralympic Committee Media Guide Beijing 2008
- "Remarks at the announcement of the Australian 2008 Paralympics Team", official website of the Prime Minister of Australia, 29 July 2008
- "Top 10 Aussies to watch", Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2008
- "Australian Paralympic Committee Annual Report" (PDF). Australian Paralympic Committee. 2007–2008. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- Murdoch, Alex (5 September 2008). "Beijing Paralympics lose friendly tone in gold hunt". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 4 September 2008.[dead link]
- "Missing chair provides Paralympic scare". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- Media Guide Beijing 2008 (PDF). Sydney: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2008.
- Fitzgerald, Peter (2 September 2008). "Security's not peachy keen, but cycling hope Milton is". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Dual gold medallist withdraws from Paralympics". ABC News. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Paralympics coverage encouraging: Gosens". Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. 21 September 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2012.