While the Winter Olympics came to a close last Sunday, many viewers are getting ready for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April. But what most people miss out on is the Winter Paralympics, running from 9 to 18 March and holding competitions in six Winter Paralympic events. Including alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling. There are 80 medal events with over 500 athletes competing, with 13 of them from Australia.
The co-captains of the Australian team is two-time Paralympian Mitchell Gourley (Para-alpine skiing) and Joany Badenhorst (Para-snowboard). The team will comprise of four Para-snowboarders, seven Para-alpine skiers plus two sighted guides.
The Australian Paralympic Committee Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said that, “the Australian Paralympic Committee is extremely proud of this team and excited to see what they can achieve together. I’d like to congratulate each athlete on their selection,”
“It is a relatively young team compared to Winter Teams at the past few Games which means it is a golden opportunity to really make a name for themselves with some breakthrough performances. Of course, there is an experienced core of athletes who will lead from the front but there are also a lot of fresh faces ready and eager for their Paralympic debut.”
“One thing I know they all have in common is that they are proud Paralympians seeking to reach new heights at the most important event of their careers,” she said.
Australia’s most successful Paralympic Games was back in Lillehammer in 1994, winning nine medals in total. Overall Australia is in 18th place on the Winter Paralympic all-time medal table.