Michael Milton (skier)

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Michael Milton
Xx0188 - 1988 winter paralympics - 3b - scans (11).jpg
Michael Milton at the 1988 Winter Paralympics
Personal information
Full nameMichael John Milton
Born (1973-03-21) 21 March 1973 (age 46)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Years active1988–2008
SportPara-alpine skiing and cycling
Disability classLW2

Michael John Milton, OAM[1] (born 21 March 1973) is an Australian Paralympic skier, Paralympic cyclist and paratriathlete[2] with one leg. With 6 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals he is the most successful Australian Paralympic athlete in the Winter Games.


Milton was born in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, on 21 March 1973. His left leg was amputated above the knee when he was nine years old due to bone cancer.[3] He grew up into a skiing family, and after losing his leg he was determined to be able to ski again.


I think there's a natural competitive spirit within myself, and perhaps the environment that I grew up in – learning to live with one leg, wanting to be competitive with my able-bodied peers – really created that mindset…. it's only a leg. The really important things in life are family, friends and having fun. None of those things have anything to do with how many legs you have.

Michael Milton, skier[3]

Australian athlete Lisa Llorens passes the Paralympic flame to Milton during the torch relay at the 2000 Summer Paralympics Opening Ceremony

Milton participated but did not win any medals at the 1988 Innsbruck Winter Paralympics.[4] At the 1992 Tignes-Albertville Winter Paralympics, he won a gold medal in the Men's Slalom LW2 event, for which he received a Medal of the Order of Australia,[1] and a silver medal in the Men's Super-G LW2 event.[4] He became the first Australian to win a gold medal at a winter Olympics or Paralympics.[5] That year he also won the slalom in the Austrian championships, and in 1993 he won both the slalom and super giant slalom at the Columbia Crest Cup.[5] At the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Paralympics, he won a gold medal in the Men's Giant Slalom LW2 event, a silver medal in the Men's Slalom LW2 event, and two bronze medals in the Men's Downhill LW2 and Men's Super-G LW2 events.[4] In January 1996, he won a gold, silver and bronze medal at the World Skiing Championships held in Austria.[6]

Michael Milton at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games

In 2000, he received an Australian Sports Medal.[7] In 2001, he was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best'.[8] At the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Paralympics, he won four gold medals in the Men's Downhill LW2, Men's Giant Slalom LW2, Men's Slalom LW2, and Men's Super-G LW2 events.[4] In April 2005, he was the first person with a disability to break the 200 kilometres per hour mark with a speed of 210.4 km/h. He then aimed to beat the Australian open record of 212.26 km/h, set in 1997 by able-bodied athlete Nick Kirshner.[9] At the 2006 Turin Winter Paralympics, he won a silver medal in the Men's Downhill standing event.[4]

On 12 July 2007, it was announced on Sports Tonight that he had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. He had a six centimetre tumour removed from his throat and is now in remission. Less than a year later, he was selected for the Beijing Paralympics, his first Summer Paralympics, as a cyclist.[10]

At the 2014 Sochi Games, he was the assistant alpine skiing coach of the Australian Paralympic Team.[11]

Milton holds the open Australian downhill speed skiing record, beating the top recorded speeds by able-bodied skiers. His personal best downhill speed is 213 km/h (132 mph).[3]

Other athletic achievements[edit]

On 7 July 2013 Milton broke the world record for running a marathon with crutches.[12] It was Milton's first attempt at a marathon, and he finished the course in 5:23:30.[12]

Milton has also walked the Kokoda Track twice and scaled Mount Kilamanjaro.[13]



  1. ^ a b "Milton, Michael John, OAM". It's an Honour. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Legends line up for Paratriathlon". Triathlon Australia. 9 January 2013. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Roberts, Michael, ed. (2008). Great Australian Sporting Moments. Melbourne, Victoria: The Miegunyah Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780522855470.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Athlete Search Results". International Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  5. ^ a b "The history of people with disabilities in Australia – 100 years: Sport". Disability Services Australia. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  6. ^ Australian Paralympic Federation (1997). "1996 – Highlights of the Year in Review". Australian Paralympic Federation Annual Report. Australia: Australian Paralympic Federation: 8.
  7. ^ "Milton, Michael John: Australian Sports Medal". It's an Honour. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  8. ^ Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best' Archived 17 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Michael Milton – is there anything this man can't do?" – Australian Alpine News, Early Season 2006.
  10. ^ "Ski Star Milton to cycle in Beijing". The Age. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  11. ^ Homfray, Reece (5 March 2014). "Australian team calls on Winter Paralympic legend Michael Milton for Sochi". Herald Sun. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Paralympian Milton sets marathon world record". ABC News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Six-time Paralympian strives for Guinness World Record". Gold Coast Marathon "Run Gold Coast". Archived from the original on 17 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Australian Paralympian of the Year". Australian Paralympic Committee website. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  15. ^ "MEDIA RELEASE – Lawry and Milton inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame". Sport Australia Hall of Fame News. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  16. ^ Gul, Jonathon (23 November 2015). "Nine Canberra athletes added to ACT Sport Hall of Fame". ABC News. Retrieved 30 November 2015.

External links[edit]