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Joany Badenhorst

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Joany Badenhorst
Joany Badenhorst Copper Mountain cropped.jpg
Joany Badenhorst March 2014
Personal information
Born (1994-08-10) 10 August 1994 (age 22)
Harrismith, South Africa
Country Australia
Sport Para-snowboarding
Disability class SB-LL

Joany Badenhorst (born 10 August 1994) is an Australian Paralympian who was selected to compete in para-snowboard cross at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi. She was the first female snowboarder to represent Australia at the Winter Paralympics, but was forced to withdraw from her event at the Games after suffering an injury to her left knee whilst training on the morning of the event.


Joany Badenhorst was born on 10 August 1994 in Harrismith, South Africa.[1] Her mother Petro is a teacher and her father Peter is an architect. She has two brothers, Garrett and Peter.[2] She attended Harrismith Primary School.[3]

On 12 July 2005, whilst playing with a group of friends on her family farm, her trousers were caught in the power take-off shaft of the tractor that was clearing firebreaks.[2][4] Her left leg was severed 6 inches (150 mm) below the knee.[3][5] The tractor driver died in a bushfire a month later.[4] Her family moved to Australia in 2009 so she could receive better medical assistance.[2] She had further surgery to rectify problems with her leg in early 2011.[6] As of 2014 she lives in Griffith, New South Wales, and resides in Jindabyne during the Australian ski season.[2]


Before her accident, Badenhorst was an accomplished athlete who had won provincial colours in high jump and modern dance.[4] After her accident, she was fitted with a prosthetic leg, and was placed second in the school 100 metres event.[2] She competed for South Africa at the Paralympic Youth Games in 2009,[2] and narrowly missed qualifying for the Australian athletics team for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.[7]

Australian Paralympic snowboarding coach Peter Higgins identified Badenhorst as a likely snowboarder after the London Games, and she commenced training in this sport. In taking up snowboarding, she needed a new custom-made leg. Badenhorst said: "I need a special leg that has to be engineered differently to accommodate the different pressures and angles of snowboarding".[8]

In the lead-up to the 2014 Sochi Games, Badenhorst competed and trained in the Netherlands, Austria, and the United States.[2] By February 2014, she was ranked eighth in the world. She was the first female snowboarder to represent Australia at the Winter Paralympics at Sochi,[4] but was forced to withdraw from her event at the Games after suffering an injury to her left knee whilst training on the morning of the event.[5]

In February 2015, at the IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain , she won a silver medal in the Women's SB-LL2. She competed with one arm in a cast due to fracture caused in a training accident a week before the Championships.[9]


  1. ^ "Joany Badenhorst". International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing Profile. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Sygall, David (16 November 2013). "After a terrible trauma, Joany Badenhorst finds her feet in Winter Paralympics team". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Kok, Dirk (13 July 2005). "Tractor rips off girls leg". South Africa News. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "2014 Australian Paralympic Winter Team Media Guide" (PDF). Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Badenhorst out of Sochi para-snowboard". Special Broadcasting Service. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Joany's Teen Camp" (PDF). Inside APC. Australian Paralympic Committee. May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Joany Badenhorst". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Pattison, Tanya (25 March 2013). "Joany reaches for new heights". Area News. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dutch delight as Vos and Mentel-Spee land world titles in La Molina". International Paralympic Committee News, 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 

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