Quick Facts

Disability
Vision Impairment – Retinitis pigmentosa
Sport
Triathlon
How acquired
Hereditary
Date of Birth
February 6, 1975
Home
Newcastle, NSW
Occupation
Marketing manager at the APC
First Competed for Australia
2015
Games Experience

Rio 2016

Heroes

Her parents and siblings, and Julia Gillard

Career Highlights

Winning gold on debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Greatest Moment

Working with the Melbourne Storm the year of their first premiership

Bio

Katie Kelly was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative condition affecting both her hearing and vision. Not one to let her disability stop her from pursuing her passions, Katie had competed in major marathon events and ocean swims including the New York Marathon prior to being classified in Para-triathlon.

In 2015 Katie was declared legally blind and she wasted no time in contacting Triathlon Australia to kick-start her career in Para-sport. Making her international debut at an ITU World Triathlon Series event on the Sunshine Coast in March 2015, she won gold with guide Michellie Jones, posting a time that ranked them among the top five in the world.

Competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where Para-triathlon made its debut, Katie won Australia’s first ever Paralympic medal in the sport. Crossing in 1:12:18, she and Michellie raced over a minute faster than second-placed Alison Patrick and Hazel Smith to win gold.

Prior to becoming a Para-triathlete, Katie spent 20 years in the consumer services industry employed by major sports organisations the likes of National Rugby League, ANZ Stadium and Tabcorp. She is now a part of the APC’s commercial team working as an athlete liaison.

Having recently established her own foundation, Sport Access, Katie names disability advocate, the late Stella Young, as one of her greatest role models, referencing the work she did in breaking down misconceptions about people with disabilities.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Triathlon Classification: PTVI B3