Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Right arm nerve damage
How acquired
Waterskiing accident
Date of Birth
April 27, 1991
Yarra Glen, VIC
Athlete and plumber
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia

Scotty James

Career Highlights

Competing at the 2017 IPC Snowboard World Cup in Lake Tahoe, USA

Greatest Moment

Placing fourth at the Water Ski World Championships


Rising Para-snowboard star Alex Handley began his career in sport as an Australian representative water skier but after paralysing his arm in a high-speed crash, he is now on the verge of representing his country at the Paralympic Games.

Alex was 21 when he broke his neck and lost most of the movement in his right arm after falling from a water ski while travelling at 150km/h. Following a delay in rehabilitation due to his neck injury, he spent the next three years learning how to use his left hand and arm as his dominant side, including relearning how to write.

An experienced skier and snowboarder, it wasn’t long before Alex found his pathway into Para-sport. He’d seen Para-snowboard on YouTube in the years prior to his accident, and in 2016 he took his interest a step further by attending an Australian Paralympic Committee Futures Camp in Perisher, NSW, where he was asked to join the squad.

Continuing his push towards selection for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Alex fought hard in the men’s Snowboard Cross at the 2016/17 IPC World Cup Finals in PyeongChang, South Korea, but was eliminated by eventual bronze medallist, Canadian Curtis Minard in the first sudden-death round to place 13th overall, clocking a time of 56.72.

A steep learning curve for the Yarra Glen local, Para-snowboard coach Lucas Prem is confident the experience will only improve his chances for success at PyeongChang 2018.

Off the slopes, Alex enjoys waterskiing, cycling and motorbike riding. His favourite movie is Cool Runnings, and his ultimate goal in life is to be happy and enjoy the ride.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Snowboard Disciplines: Banked Slalom Classification: SB-UL
  • Sport: Snowboard Disciplines: Snowboard Cross Classification: SB-UL