Australia at the 1980 Summer Paralympics

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Australia at the Paralympic Games

Flag of Australia
IPC code  AUS
NPC Australian Paralympic Committee
At the 1980 Summer Paralympics in Arnhem
Rank: 14
Paralympic history (summary)
Summer Games
Winter Games

Australia competed at the 1980 Summer Paralympics in Arnhem, Netherlands. Australia won 55 medals – 12 gold, 21 silver and 22 bronze medals. Australia competed in 10 sports and won medals in 6 sports. It finished 14th on the gold medal table and 9th on the total medal table.[1]

Notable Australian performances were:

  • In amputee athletes class:
    • Charmaine Cree winning 5 medals in athletics – 1 gold medal, 1 silver medal and 3 bronze medals[1]
    • Wayne Lanham winning 2 medals in athletics – 1 gold and 1 silver medal[1]
    • Gary Gudgeon winning 4 medals in swimming – 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal[1]
  • In spinal cord injury athletes class:
    • Wayne Patchett, an Australian thrower, winning 3 gold medals[1]
    • Eric Russell won a gold medal and two bronze medals[1]
    • Mike Nugent won the silver medal in the 400metres, but his most notable performance was the 200metres event when he set a world record that was subsequently as the best individual performance by an Australian wheelchair athlete in 1980[2]
    • Female shooters Barbara Caspers and Elizabeth Kosmala winning 6 medals between them including 2 gold medals[1]
  • Australian athletics team winning 34 medals out of the 55 medals won by Australia.[1]


Australia competed in 3 classes of 4 in 10 sports and won medals in 6 sports. Amputee athletes in Australia did not have a national body but the previous experiences at the Torontolympiad and at the Sydney FESPIC Games provided the impetus for individual athletes to attend Arnhem. There were no selection trials and the 11 athletes who competed had to cover their cost to get and from the Games.[3] There was also eleven vision impaired athletes from Australia who attended Arnhem. These athletes had the advantage of a national organisation, formed in the same year as the Arnhem Games, which raised funds and assisted in preparation in participation. The biggest contingent of Australians at Arnhem was athletes with a spinal cord injury and they experienced the most success winning a total of 34 medals. Even though the 1980 Paralympic Games were the first time that Cerebral Palsy athletes joined spinal cord injury, blind and amputees athletes at the Paralympics, Australia did not have a national organisation and did not send any Cerebral Palsey athletes.





Australia represented by:
Men - Dennis Kennedy, Eric Klein, Ian Trewhella
WomenSusan Davies
Australia won a silver medal through Ian Trewhella's performance in Men's short metric round tetraplegic.


Australia represented by:
MenRene Ahrens, Chris Alp, Rene Andres, Paul Bird, Kevin Bishop, Donald Dann, Joe Egan, R. Faulkener, Peter Hill, Erich Hubel, Barry Kalms,  ? Lanham, Peter Marsh, John Martin, Michael McFawn, Robert McIntyre, Jeff McNeil, Brian McNicholl, David McPherson, Kevin Munro, Mike Nugent, Richard Oliver, Wayne Patchett, Fred Pointer, Eric Russell, Bruce Sandilands, John Sheil, Murray Todd, Ian Trewhella, Robert Turner
WomenCharmaine Cree, Sue Hobbs,  ? Langhorne, Pam Nugent, Julie Russell, J. Wilson
[1] Athletics was Australia's most successful team winning 34 medals - 8 gold, 9 silver and 17 bronze medals.[1]


Australia represented by:
Men - ?
Women -  ? Australia did not win any medals.


Australia represented by:
Men -  ?
Australia did not win a medal.

Lawn Bowls[edit]

Australia represented by:
Men – Mike McGuire
WomenGloria Pascoe
Australia won a gold medal through Q. Pascoe in women's singles B.[1]


Australia represented by:
MenGloria Pascoe
WomenBarbara Caspers, Elizabeth Kosmala
Australia won 6 medals - 2 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 1 bronze medal[1]


Australia represented by:
Men - Rene Andres, Paul Bird, Peter Carroll, Gary Gudgeon, Peter Hill, Dennis Kennedy, David Manera, David McPherson, Charlie Tapscott
WomenCarolyn Connors, Maureen Pybus
Australia won 11 medals - 1 gold, 8 silver medals and 2 bronze medals. Gary Gudgeon won the gold medal.[1]

Table Tennis[edit]

Australia represented by:
Men – Donald Dann, Peter Marsh, John Martin, John Sheil, Charlie Tapscott
Australia did not win any medals.[1]


Australia represented by:
MenBarry Kalms, Brian McNicholl, John Sheil
Australia won 2 bronze medals.[1]

Wheelchair Basketball[edit]

Australia represented by:
Men - Rene Ahrens, Robert Augustine, Kevin Bishop, Peter Burt, Kevin Coombs, Len Ettridge, Erich Hubel, Robert McIntyre, Brian McNicholl, Kevin Munro, Richard Oliver, Fred Pointer[1]
Australia did not win a medal.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Several oral histories are available online from Australian athletes who competed at the Games


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Australian results at the 1980 Arnhem Paralympics". International Paralympic Committee Historical Results Database. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Epstein, Step by step we conquer, 48.
  3. ^ Smith,The Paralympic Story,98-99.