Mitchell Gourley April 2013
2 June 1991 |
|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. He was born a congenital amputee, with his left forearm ending a few inches below his elbow. 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. He attended at Geelong College, and as of 2014 is studying commerce at the University of Melbourne.
Gourley became involved in high level Paralympic skiing as a result of Australian talent identification efforts, taking up the sport competitively in 2002 as an eleven-year-old. He was classified as LW6/8-2, the classification for athletes with an impairment to one arm, and made his Australian national team début in 2006, as a fifteen-year-old. He has held scholarships with the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Australian Institute of Sport.
At the 2009 Norm Cup, Gourley finished first in the men's standing class giant slalom event. In the same year, he competed in the IPC Alpine Skiing Nor Am Cup in Colorado. He was officially named to the Australian 2010 Winter Paralympics team in November 2009. A ceremony was held in Canberra with Australian Paralympic Committee president Greg Hartung and Minister for Sport Kate Ellis making the announcement.
|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. Going into the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games, his best ever world ranking was 17th. He attempted to bulk up and put on additional weight by eating six to eight meals a day. He arrived in the Paralympic village with the rest of Australia's Para-alpine team on 9 March 2010. Coached by Steve Graham, he competed in the downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined events. In the super-G standing event, he finished 10th. He also finished 27th in the slalom. He came 30th in the giant slalom event.
At the December 2011 IPC Nor Am Cup, Gourley won his first gold medal in international competition in the giant slalom, but was beaten by New Zealand's Adam Hall and Australian teammate Toby Kane in the slalom. 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. 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.
Gourley started the 2013/14 World Cup season with strong results, with two gold, three silver and one bronze medal. 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.
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.
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.
- 2016 - Ski and Snowboard Australia Para-athlete of the Year
- 2017 - Ski and Snowboard Australia Para-athlete of the Year 
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