Simon Patmore wins gold medal in Snowboard Cross SB-UL at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games 2018

Aussies return from their Paralympics triumph

Australia’s Winter Paralympians touched down on home soil this week, following an extraordinary campaign in South Korea.

The team left PyeongChang with four medals – double the number won in Sochi 2014 – and finished 15th in the overall medal tally.

The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) said the team of 12 athletes and three sighted guides, exceeded their set goal.

Paralympic sprinter-turned-snowboarder, Simon Patmore, already had a 200m T46 Bronze Medal from London 2012 in his pocket. He went on to write himself into Australian sporting history by becoming the first man in any sport to win a medal at both Summer and Winter Paralympic Games.

Patmore defeated Italian Manuel Pozzerle to win the Snowboard Cross SB-UL event. It was Australia’s first Gold Medal since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. He followed up with Bronze in the Snowboard Banked Slalom SB-UL.

Para-alpine skier, Melissa Perrine, along with her sighted guide, Christian Geiger, completed her third Winter Games with two Bronze Medals from the vision-impaired Giant Slalom and Super-Combined. Perrine also finished in the top five of her other three events – an incredible accomplishment.

Joany Badenhorst, who went into the Games with a World No.1 ranking and flew the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony, ended up suffering a serious leg injury during training. The incident was déjà vu for Badenhorst who endured a knee injury the day before competition in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Despite the devastating end to her second Paralympic campaign, the co-captain spent the rest of the competition cheering on her fellow teammates from the stands.

The rest of Australia’s Paralympians were able to complete at least one of the several events they had qualified for –  an amazing effort. The results include:

Para-alpine skiers:

  • Mitchell Gourley (co-captain) – 6th in Slalom (standing), 8th in Giant Slalom (standing) and 12th in Super-G (standing)
  • Jonty O’Callaghan – 22nd in Downhill (standing) and 23rd in Giant Slalom (standing)
  • Victoria Pendergast – 4th in Downhill (sitting) and 8th in Giant Slalom (sitting)
  • Sam Tait – 11th in Downhill (sitting) and 17th in Giant Slalom (sitting)
  • Mark Soyer – 16th in Super-G and 18th in Giant Slalom (sitting)
  • Patrick Jensen – 11th in Giant Slalom (visually-impaired)
  • Shaun Pianta – 14th Giant Slalom (visually-impaired)


  • Sean Pollard – 2nd in his 1/8 Snowboard Cross final and 5th in Banked Slalom SB-UL
  • Ben Tudhope – 2nd in his 1/8 Snowboard Cross final and 7th in Banked Slalom SB-LL2

The athletes will now turn their focus to the Beijing Winter Paralympics in March 2022. None have suggested they won’t be aiming for those Games.

Last year, the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC)  expressed interest in forming a Para-ice hockey team for the 2022 Games.
So the future of the Australian Winter Paralympic team is looking bright. – Olivia Silk