Karl Feifar

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Karl Feifar
Personal information
Full name Karl Peter Thomas Feifar
Nationality  Australia
Born 1973
Subiaco, Western Australia
Died 29 May 2009
Orelia, Western Australia

Karl Peter Thomas Feifar, OAM[1] (1973 – 29 May 2009)[2] was an indigenous Australian amputee athlete and Paralympic competitor.


Feifar was born in the Perth suburb of Subiaco in 1973. His parents were Wendy and Peter.[3] His deformed foot was amputated at birth. His parents encouraged him to play sport. Feifar commented Even as a kid, if I fell down, my mother would tell me to pick myself up and keep going. My parents gave me the positive will to succeed.[3] Despite his below-knee amputation, as a child he played Australian football for Central Club in Jarrahdale,[3] swam and competed in athletics with the aid of a prosthetic leg.[4] He had worked for Australia Post as a driver.[5] He had a partner, Kathleen, and a daughter.[2]


At the 1988 Pan Pacific School Games in Sydney, Feifar won three gold and one bronze medals. In 1990, he set a world record and four Australian records at the Australian Amputee Games.[citation needed]

At the 1990 World Championships and Games for the Disabled in Assen Netherlands, he won five gold and two silver medals and broke two world records (long jump and pentathlon).[6] After these Championships, he accepted a scholarship in the newly established Australian Institute of Sport Athletes with a Disabilities program and was coached by Chris Nunn.[3]

At the 1992 Barcelona Games, he won a gold medal in the Men's 4 × 100 m Relay TS2,4 event and a silver medal in the Men's Long Jump J2 event.[7] In 1993, he retired from competition. His coach Chris Nunn was quoted as saying: "Karl was extremely talented but due to early retirement he didn't realise his full potential".[8]


Feifar died of a heart attack on 29 May 2009.[2] His partner Kathleen could not connect to the 000 emergency number from her Telstra home phone in Orelia, and was forced to use her work mobile phone.[2] There was an appeal to help pay for his burial in the Fremantle Cemetery.[5]



  1. ^ a b "Feifar, Karl Peter Thomas". It's an Honour. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Styles, Aja (3 September 2009). "Calls for inquest into 000 tragedy". WAtoday. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Karl in the running for Barcelona gold" (PDF). Koori Mail (13). 20 November 1991. 
  4. ^ 'Karl Feifar' in the Oxford Companion to Australian Sport. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1994. p. 161. ISBN 0-19-553568-5. 
  5. ^ a b Coyne, Darren (29 July 2009). "Family appealing for help to bury Paralympian son" (PDF). Koori Mail. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  6. ^ World Championships and Games for the Disabled – Athletics Results. Netherlands: Organising Committee. 1990. 
  7. ^ "Athlete Search Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Fogarty, Michael (2005). Indigenous athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport. Canberra: Australian Sports Commission. p. 64. ISBN 1-74013-070-7. 
  9. ^ Tatz, Colin (2000). Black gold : the Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-85575-367-6. 
  10. ^ "Cathy, Karl take out National Aboriginal Sports Awards" (PDF). Koori Mail (13). 6 November 1991. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 

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