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Mitchell Gourley

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Mitchell Gourley
GOURLEY Mitchell 2013 Processing.jpg
Mitchell Gourley April 2013
Personal information
Nationality  Australia
Born (1991-06-02) 2 June 1991 (age 26)
Geelong, Victoria
Country Australia
Sport Para-alpine skiing
Disability class LW6/8
Event(s) Downhill
Giant slalom
Super combined
Achievements and titles
Paralympic finals 2010 Winter Paralympics, 2014 Winter Paralympics

Mitchell Gourley (born 2 June 1991) is an Australian Paralympic alpine skier who competed for Australia in the downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined events at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver and 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, but did not win a medal. At the 2017 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy he won the gold medal in the Men's Super Combined Standing.


Mitchell Gourley was born in Geelong, Victoria, on 2 June 1991.[1][2][3] He was born a congenital amputee, with his left forearm ending a few inches below his elbow.[4] Mitchell can move the tiny stump of his forearm and uses it to hold and manipulate objects by gripping them in his elbow. He plays a variety of sports including cricket, Australian rules football, basketball, mountain biking and rock-climbing.[1] He attended at Geelong College,[5] and as of 2014 is studying commerce at the University of Melbourne.[6]


Cameron Rahles Rahbula, Mitchell Gourley and Toby Kane interview originally done for Wikinews

Gourley became involved in high level Paralympic skiing as a result of Australian talent identification efforts,[7] taking up the sport competitively in 2002 as an eleven-year-old.[1] He was classified as LW6/8-2,[8] the classification for athletes with an impairment to one arm,[9] and made his Australian national team début in 2006, as a fifteen-year-old.[1] He has held scholarships with the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Australian Institute of Sport.[10]

At the 2009 Norm Cup, Gourley finished first in the men's standing class giant slalom event.[11] In the same year, he competed in the IPC Alpine Skiing Nor Am Cup in Colorado.[11] He was officially named to the Australian 2010 Winter Paralympics team in November 2009.[12] A ceremony was held in Canberra with Australian Paralympic Committee president Greg Hartung and Minister for Sport Kate Ellis making the announcement.[13]

Mitchell Gourley competing in the super-G during the second day of the 2012 IPC Nor Am Cup at Copper Mountain

Gourley competed at the 2010 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Italy and World Cup in Austria.[11] Going into the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games, his best ever world ranking was 17th.[1] He attempted to bulk up and put on additional weight by eating six to eight meals a day.[5] He arrived in the Paralympic village with the rest of Australia's Para-alpine team on 9 March 2010.[14] Coached by Steve Graham,[1] he competed in the downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined events.[15][16] In the super-G standing event, he finished 10th.[2][17] He also finished 27th in the slalom.[18][19][20] He came 30th in the giant slalom event.[21]

At the December 2011 IPC Nor Am Cup, Gourley won his first gold medal in international competition in the giant slalom,[22] but was beaten by New Zealand's Adam Hall and Australian teammate Toby Kane in the slalom.[23] He competed at a February 2012 World Cup event in Italy in the slalom, but did not place in the event. After sitting in fourth place after his first run, he missed a gate in his second run and was disqualified.[24] He won a gold medal in the giant slalom with a combined run time of 2:03.15, 0.43 seconds faster than the silver medallists. It was the first gold medal he had won at a World Cup.[22]

Gourley started the 2013/14 World Cup season with strong results, with two gold, three silver and one bronze medal.[8] At the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, he competed in five events. He finished 5th in the Men's super combined standing, 7th in the Men's downhill standing, and failed to finish in three events.[25][26]

At the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada, Gourley competed in five Men's Standing events. He finished fourth in the Giant Slalom and fifth in the Super-G.[27]

He finished the 2015/16 World Cup season on a high, placing third on the overall rankings after a successful run of events that saw him podium nine times.[28]

Gourley won the gold medal in the Men's Super Combined Standing at the 2017 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. Gourley was in sixth place after the super-G, but put on a masterclass in the slalom to secure the gold.[29]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Mitchell Gourley". Vancouver 2010. 2010. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Aussies off the pace in super-G – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". 20 March 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  3. ^ McDonald, Margie (15 March 2012). "Speedster Marty Mayberry lifts hopes of medal". Australia: The Australian. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Mitchell Gourley". YouTube 2013. 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Geelong Winter Paralympian has weight on his mind". Geelong Advertiser. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Mitchell Gourley". Organizing Committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Disabled Wintersport Australia 2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Australia: Disabled Wintersport Australia. 2010. p. 7. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Mitchell Gourley". Australian Paralympic Committee Athlete Profile. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "2014 Australian Paralympic Winter Team Media Guide" (PDF). Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 13 April 2014. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Ellis, Kate (11 March 2010). "Winter Paralympians to inspire a nation" (PDF). Australia. p. 3. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "Geelong paralympian Mitch Gourley wins Canadian call up – Local News – Geelong, VIC, Australia". 24 December 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Paralympic Team for Vancouver sprinkled with experience". Australia: The Australian. 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Browning, Jennifer (25 November 2009). "Winter Paralympics team biggest yet". Australia: ABC Grandstand Sport. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  14. ^ McDonald, Margie (8 March 2010). "Australian assault on Paralympics takes shape in Vancouver". The Australian. Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Features | Twenty Ten | Following Australian & New Zealand Winter Athletes by Mountainwatch". Mountainwatch. 3 February 2010. Archived from the original on 1 October 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  16. ^ Lulham, Amanda (18 March 2010). "A battle against bugs and breaks". The Courier Mail. Brisbane, Australia. p. 79. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "WEEKEND SCOREBOARD". The Australian. Australia. 22 March 2010. p. 40. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Rahles-Rahbula wins Paralympics bronze". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Slalom bronze for Rahles-Rahbula – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". 16 March 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "Aussie skiers look for redemption". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  21. ^ "Aussie eyes standing slalom medal – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". 16 March 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "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. 
  23. ^ 22 Dec 2011Paralympics (22 December 2011). "Paralympics: Hall gets season underway in winning fashion | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "Podium for Kane in Spain". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 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. ^ "Mitchell Gourley". International Parlympic Committee Athlete Profiles. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  28. ^ "Big Season Ahead for Australian skiers". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "Maiden world titles for skiers Bertagnolli, Gourley". International Paralympic Committee News. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  30. ^ "Cox and James crowned Australian Snowsports Athlete of the Year". Ski and Snowboard Australia. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 

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