Mike Nugent (athlete)

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Mike Nugent
Mike Nugent.jpg
Nugent racing in his wheelchair
Personal information
Nationality  Australia
Born 1945/1946

Michael "Mike" Alwyn Nugent (born 1945/1946) is an Australian Paralympic athlete and wheelchair manufacturer, who has won six medals at four Paralympics.


Nugent was paralysed in a motorbike accident and first became involved in wheelchair sport at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane in 1963 at the age of 17.[1] He began in wheelchair basketball and field events at Kingshome Rehabilitation Centre and became interested in canoeing due to physiotherapist Vernon Hill.[1] He has been married to Paralympic swimmer Pam Foley since 1975.[1] In 1977 he started a Brisbane-based wheelchair-manufacturing business, Surgical Engineering.[1][2]

Competitive career[edit]

Nugent competed at his first National Games in Perth in 1968, and was a regular part of the Queensland team for the games in the 1970s and 1980s.[1] His first international competition was the 1977 FESPIC Games in Sydney. Once his family and business life settled, he began training six days a week to pursue his interest in international competition.[1]

At his first Paralympics, the 1980 Arnhem Games, he won a gold medal in the Men's 200 m 3 event and a silver medal in the Men's 400 m 3 event.[3] His world record-breaking 200 m performance at the 1980 games was recognised as the best international performance by an Australian wheelchair athlete in that year.[1]At the 1984 New York/Stoke Mandeville Games, he won a gold medal and broke a world record in the Men's 400 m 2 event and two bronze medals in the Men's 800 m 2 and Men's 1,500 m 2 events.[1][3]

Queenslanders in the Australian team for the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville. From left to right – Mike Nugent, Robert McIntyre, Michael Quinn, Carmel Williams, Roy Fowler, Susan Davies, Alan Dufty, Kerri-Anne Connor, Peter Marsh, and Ken Moran

At the 1988 Seoul Games, he won a bronze medal in the Men's 200 m 2 event;[3] he had a flat tyre during the early stages of the marathon, but still finished the race to support his teammates.[1] He also participated but did not win any medals in athletics events at the 1992 Barcelona Games.[3]

An avid wheelchair basketballer, he participated in the Australia men's national wheelchair basketball team at the 1986 Gold Cup and was an integral member of the Queensland state wheelchair basketball team.[1] After his retirement from Paralympic competition, he focused on road-racing events to both compete and promote his new wheelchair designs.[1] He has participated in all major international wheelchair road-racing events, including the Beppu-Ōita Marathon, the Sempach Marathon, and the Peachtree Road Race.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Epstein, Vicki. Step by Step We Conquer. Keeaira Press. p. 48. ISBN 0958529191. 
  2. ^ "Homepage". Surgical Engineering. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Athlete Search Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 25 April 2012.