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Melissa Perrine

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Melissa Perrine
PERRINE Melissa 2013 processing.jpg
Perrine in April 2013
Personal information
Nationality Australia
Born (1988-02-21) 21 February 1988 (age 31)
Nowra, New South Wales
SportPara-alpine skiing
Disability classB2
Giant Slalom
Super Combined
Achievements and titles
Paralympic finals2010 Winter Paralympics
2014 Winter Paralympics

Melissa Perrine (born 21 February 1988) is a B2 classified visually impaired para-alpine skier from Australia. She has competed at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi and 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang in the downhill, super-G, super combined, slalom and giant slalom events. At the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships, she won three gold, one silver and one bronze medals. At the 2018 Winter Paralympics, she won two bronze medals.


Melissa Perrine was born in Nowra, New South Wales, on 21 February 1988.[1] In 2007, the Wingecarribee Council area named her their Young Australian of the Year.[2] She was featured on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's X Paralympic Games in March 2010.[3] She was born with four separate eye conditions, including cataracts, nystagmus, micropthalmia and glaucoma. Her eyesight has been slowly deteriorating since she was very young.[4] Her vision is limited to blurry shapes and colours.[5] As of 2014, she lives in Welby, New South Wales,[3][6] and is studying Exercise Science at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney.[1] In 2011, she completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science followed by a Master of Exercise Science in 2012 at the Australian Catholic University. In 2018, she is studying a Master of Physiotherapy at Western Sydney University. [7]


Melissa Perrine interview conducted for Wikinews
Melissa Perrine and her guide Andy Bor in the Women's Downhill at the 2014 Winter Paralympics

Perrine is a B2 classified visually impaired skier.[4][8] She gets direction on the course from a guide who uses a microphone and speakers to communicate with her on the course.[4] She first skied with her sighted guide Andy Bor in 2009 in competition at the IPC North America Cup in Colorado, where she finished second in the super-G.[9] She was officially named on the Australian 2010 Winter Paralympics team in November 2009.[10] Alongside Jessica Gallagher, she was one of two women named to the team. It was only the second time Australia sent women to the Winter Paralympics.[10] A ceremony was held in Canberra with Australian Paralympic Committee president Greg Hartung and Minister for Sport Kate Ellis making the announcement.[11]

At a 2010 World Cup event in Italy ahead of the Paralympics, Perrine fractured the ischium bone in her hip as a result of a fall. She returned to Australia. She was back on the slopes by the end of the 2009/2010 skiing season, and competed in the 2010 World Cup in Aspen, Colorado. She earned a silver medal and a pair of bronze medals at the event.[4]

Perrine and the rest of Australia's Para-alpine team arrived in the Paralympic village on 9 March 2010 for the 2010 Winter Paralympics.[12] While at the Games, she competed in the Downhill, super-G, super combined and giant slalom events.[2][13] She finished seventh in the visually impaired super-G,[14] approximately 12.54 seconds behind gold medal winning Slovak skier Henrieta Farkasova. She did not finish in the super combined event.[14] Following her first run in the Super G, she was in sixth place, but she did not finish her second run and did not place.[15] She and Bor finished fifth in the 2,139 metres (7,018 ft) downhill.[16]

At the 2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships, with Bor as her guide, Perrine won a silver medal in the vision-impaired downhill event, the first one ever earned by an Australian woman at the event.[17][18][19] She also earned bronze medals in the women’s vision impaired Super Combined and super-G events.[19] At an August 2011 competition in Mt Hutt, New Zealand, she finished first in the women's super G visually impaired event.[20] At the Winter Games IPC event at Coronet Peak that same month, she and Bor finished first in the women's slalom visually impaired event.[5][21][22]

At the 2012 World Cup event in Italy, Perrine finished third in the slalom while skiing with Bor.[23] She won a silver medal in the giant slalom.[24]

At the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Perrine competed in five events. She finished fourth in the women's downhill visually impaired and did not finish in three events.[25][26] She was disqualified after the slalom leg of the Women's Super Combined for wearing a visor which was taped to her helmet in order to keep rain from her goggles. This was a breach of the IPC Alpine Skiing rules. Jason Hellwig, CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee described it as "mindnumbingly-dumb mistake" as it was not picked up by relevant team officials. He indicated it was an honest mistake and there was no intention to cheat.[27]

Perrine with her guide Andy Bor won five medals – three gold, one silver and one bronze in Women's Visually Impaired events at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada.[28] Gold medals were won in the Downhill, Super-G, Super Combined, silver medal in Slalom and bronze medal in the Giant Slalom. Perrine became the only Australian female in alpine skiing to finish on the podium in all five events at an IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.[28]

At the 2017 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in PyeongChang, Perrine and her guide Bor won two bronze medals – downhill and giant slalom. Perrine had a limited 2016/17 season due to her university commitments.[29]

She was selected to compete at the 2018 Winter Paralympics, her third Games.[30] At the Games, she won her first Paralympic medal by winning the bronze medal in the Women's Combined Visually Impaired with her guide Christian Geiger, who is also her coach. The following day she won the bronze medal in the Women's Giant Slalom visually Impaired. She had three other top five finishes - fourth in the Women's Slalom Visually Impaired and fifth in both the Women's Downhill Visually Impaired and Women's Super-G Visually Impaired. [31] Perrine was given the honour of the Closing Ceremony flag bearer due to her competing at three Winter Games and winning two bronze medals in PyeongChang.[32]

With her new guide Bobbi Kelly, Perrine won the gold medal in the Women's Super Combined Visually Impaired, silver medals in the Women's Giant Slalom and Women's Super G Visually Impaired and the bronze medal in the Women's Slalom Visually Impaired at 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.[33][34]


  • 2018 - New South Wales Institute of Sport Clubs NSW Personal Excellence Award for having coupled her PyeongChang success with the completion of a Masters of Physiotherapy.[35]
  • 2019 - Ski and Snowboard Australia - Athlete of the Year (Paralympic disciplines) [36]


  1. ^ a b "Melissa Perrine". Organizing Committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Melissa Perrine | Vancouver 2010". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2010. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b Walters, Conrad (18 March 2010). "Critic's view Saturday, March 20". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. p. 32. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "Melissa Perrine undeterred by fractured build up to Vancouver Games". Australia: The Australian. 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Skiing: Extreme success for Hall". Dunedin: Otago Daily Times. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  6. ^ Ellis, Kate (11 March 2010). "Winter Paralympians to inspire a nation" (PDF). Australia. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Mellisa Perrine". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  8. ^ "AAP News: PARA: Rahles-Rahbula claims "miracle" second bronze". Australia. AAP News. 21 March 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  9. ^ "2010 Vancouver Paralympics Games – Melissa Perrine". Australia: ABC. 2010. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Paralympic Team for Vancouver sprinkled with experience". Australia: The Australian. 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  11. ^ Browning, Jennifer (25 November 2009). "Winter Paralympics team biggest yet". Australia: ABC Grandstand Sport. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  12. ^ McDonald, Margie (8 March 2010). "Australian assault on Paralympics takes shape in Vancouver". The Australian. Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  13. ^ Lulham, Amanda (18 March 2010). "A battle against bugs and breaks". The Courier Mail. Brisbane, Australia. p. 79. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Weekend Scoreboard". The Australian. Australia. 22 March 2010. p. 40. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Aussies struggle in fog at Creekside". Australia: Nine MSN. 2010. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  16. ^ McDonald, Margie (20 March 2012). "Twist of fake legs brings silver". Australia: The Australian. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Fearless Perrine creates skiing history for Australia". 18 January 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Melissa Perrine breaks through in World Alpine Championships". Australia: The Australian. January 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Disabled Wintersport Australia 2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Australia: Disabled Wintersport Australia. 2010. p. 8. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  20. ^ "Super G adaptive race thrills spectators". 27 August 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Kiwi Adam Hall races to gold medal glory". New Zealand: August 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  22. ^ "Adam Hall Wins Slalom Gold for New Zealand". New Zealand: Scoop News. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Podium for Kane in Spain". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Gourley wins first gold on the slopes". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 3 February 2012. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Sochi 2014 Latest Results". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  26. ^ McDonald, Margie (4 February 2014). "Paralympians put energy into alpine skiing for Sochi". The Australian. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  27. ^ Paxinos, Stathi (12 March 2014). "Sochi Winter Paralympics: Australian team owns up to 'dumb' mistake". The Age. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Perrine dominates Worlds with podium finishes in all five events". Australian Paralympic Committee News, 11 March 2015. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  29. ^ "Australia's medal haul continues in PyeongChang". Australian Paralympic Committee website. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  30. ^ "Australian Paralympic Winter Team for PyeongChang 2018 announced". Australian Paralympic Committee website. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  31. ^ "Melissa Perrine". 2018 Winter Paralympics Official site. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  32. ^ "Dual Paralympic bronze medallist Perrine named as Closing Ceremony flag bearer". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  33. ^ "Alpine Worlds 2019: Momoka Muraoka ends Europe run". International Paralympic Committee website. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Perrine crowned world champion". Australian Paralympic Committee website. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  35. ^ "NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) Awards celebrate the best of 2018". New South Wales Institute of Sport website. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  36. ^ "Australian snowsport stars shine at 2019 Australian Ski and Snowboard Awards". Ski and Snowboard Australia website. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.

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