Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – Cerebral Palsy
Sport
Athletics
How acquired
Congenital
Date of Birth
October 25, 1997
Home
Woodcroft, SA
Occupation
Student
Started Competing
2011
First Competed for Australia
2013
Games Experience

Rio 2016

Heroes

Matthew Cowdrey and Evan O’Hanlon

Career Highlights

Becoming the first T36 athlete to break the 5.50m barrier in long jump

Greatest Moment

Evan O’Hanlon breaking the 11 second barrier in the 100m sprint at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing

Bio

Brayden Davidson carved out a name for himself in Paralympic sport when he became the first T36 athlete to break the 5.50m barrier in long jump. He backed up this impressive performance the following year at the 2016 Paralympic Games, claiming gold with a 5.62m jump – 11cm on his personal best.

Born with cerebral palsy, Brayden aspired to become a Paralympic rower. After his mum told him that he wasn’t built for the sport, he attended an APC Talent Search Day in 2011 in a bid to prove her wrong. There he was encouraged to compete in swimming and athletics.

Although he initially hated athletics, when he qualified for the Junior National Championships in four events and won gold medals in all four, he was hooked. Two years later, Brayden debuted for Australia at the 2013 IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon, where he placed fourth in long jump and achieved a personal best of 5.00m.

‘Braydo’ went on to win silver in the 200m and long jump events at the 2014 Australian Athletics Championships, and in 2015, his world record qualified him for the Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Brayden looks to past Paralympic greats for inspiration, most notably Australia’s most successful Paralympian, Matthew Cowdrey, and five-time Paralympic gold medallist Evan O’Hanlon. Matt’s humble beginnings as an Adelaide boy motivate Brayden to look to his future, and as an athlete with cerebral palsy, he is inspired by Evan O’Hanlon, who broke the 11 second barrier in the 100m sprint at 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Brayden hopes that his career takes a similar shape, and also wants to be known as a genuine athlete who is respected for who he is and what he can achieve.

Before each event, Brayden sits down to analyse his competition. Obsessed with sports statistics, he researches their times and other elements of their performance. Once on the track, Brayden shifts focus. He is less analytical, instead remembering why he has the opportunities he does. He looks upwards to acknowledge that his late grandfather, who first encouraged him to take up Paralympic sport, is watching from above.

In ten years Brayden hopes to be a veteran of the Australian Paralympic team and doing statistics and media work for major sporting events. He believes in the importance of sharing knowledge and experience and hopes to stay involved in Paralympic sport by working as a coach and mentor to younger athletes.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: Long Jump Classification: F36