Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Joint fusion (right knee and ankle)
How acquired
Ride-on lawnmower accident
Date of Birth
June 25, 1981
Bruce, ACT
Personal banker
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Career Highlights

Winning Australia’s first ever Paralympic rowing medal, a silver in Beijing


Striving for gold, Beijing 2008 silver medallist Kathryn Ross and mixed double sculls partner Gavin Bellis were devastated to finish third in their heat, second in their repechage heat and fifth in the final, racing nearly nine seconds slower than first-placed Chinese pair Tianming Fei and Xiaoxian Lou.

In the four years between Beijing and London, Kathryn rowed with a number of partners before finding the right fit with Gavin. Following John Maclean’s retirement in 2008, Kathryn teamed up with Grant Bailey to win bronze at the 2010 FISA World Rowing Championships in Cambridge, New Zealand.

John returned to the sport in 2011 and together they won two gold medals at the 2011 International Adaptive Regatta in Gavirate, Italy and bronze at the 2011 FISA World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

Nonetheless, Gavin and Kathryn made an impressive return to the world stage when they won gold at the 2013, 2014 and 2015 FISA World Rowing Championships.

With a podium finish in sight for Rio 2016, and a gold medal not unlikely, they were disappointed to place fourth in their heat, third in their repechage heat and seventh overall in the final.

The Bruce local was two-years-old when an accident involving a ride-on lawnmower resulted in the fusing of her right knee and ankle joints.

Doing little to quell her passion for sport, she attributes a large part of her success to the support of her family, friends and the staff at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Outside of training and competition, Kathryn enjoys playing the tenor drum and piano, painting, quilting, sewing, going to the movies and spending time with her friends.

An advocate for people with disabilities participating in sport, Kathryn hopes to become involved in talent identification in Para-sport. Her long-term goal is to set up a strength and conditioning centre for people undergoing rehabilitation and children with cerebral palsy.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Rowing Disciplines: Mixed double sculls Classification: PR2