Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Paraplegia
How acquired
Horse riding accident
Date of Birth
June 10, 1991
Canberra, ACT
Athlete and student
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia

Barack Obama, Emilee Cherry


Making her debut at the ITU Oceania Paratriathlon Championships, four years and three days after the accident that left her a paraplegic, Emily won gold with a time of 1 hour, 27 minutes and 36.2 seconds.

From the top of the podium, Emily’s sights were set on competing in Rio where triathlon would make its debut in the Paralympic Games program. But after finding out her PT1 class wouldn’t be contested at the in the sport’s Paralympic debut, Emily faced the decision of waiting for Para-triathlon to be included in a later games, or to focus on reaching Rio in just one of her disciplines.

Making the transition to athletics, Emily’s decision has paid off, as she prepares to compete in Rio.

Growing up on a remote cattle property in the Northern Territory, Emily grew up with a love of horses. It was at a campdrafting event just a few weeks after graduating from year 12 that an accident involving her horse left Emily badly injured.

It took eight months in hospital, and three years in rehabilitation, before Emily decided to set herself the challenge of competitive sport.

At her first event where she took gold, her coach Fred Periac had encouraged her to just focus on making it across the finish line. After the race, she was told she had too much energy for someone who had just crossed the finish line of a triathlon.

Even after focusing on making it to Rio in athletics, Emily has continued to compete in national and international triathlon events.

At the 2015 Para-triathlon world championships, Emily backed up her Oceania gold medal with silver, and in 2016 at the ITU World Paratriathlon event won Gold.

When she isn’t training for Rio or for her next triathlon, Emily is studying a Bachelor of International Business and Finance by correspondence at the University of Southern Queensland.

Her ultimate sporting goal is to be the world number one, and in life to be knowledgeable and travel the world.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 400m Classification: T54
  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 800m Classification: T54
  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: marathon Classification: T54
  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 4x400m relay Classification: T54