Quick Facts

How acquired
Physical Impairment – Paraplegia
Date of Birth
July 8, 1942
Klemzig, SA
Public relations officer
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Tel Aviv 1968 (administrative staff member), Heidelberg 1972, Toronto 1976, Arnhem 1980, Stoke Mandeville 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Career Highlights

Winning four gold medals and breaking four world records at the 1984 Paralympic Games in Stoke Mandeville, and winning gold and bronze at the 2002 IPC Shooting World Championships in Seoul, South Korea

Greatest Moment

Winning her first ever Paralympic gold at the 1976 Games in Toronto


The oldest athlete from any nation competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Libby Kosmala is among the most respected figures in the history of Paralympic sport.

A paraplegic due to complications at birth, Libby began her Paralympic career in 1968 as assistant secretary to the Australian Team in Tel Aviv due to a mistake by the organiser. Two years later she was selected to compete at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she won gold in archery and foil fencing, silver in pentathlon and four bronze medals in swimming and wheelchair racing events.

She has represented Australia at 12 Paralympic Games between 1972 and 2016, enjoying her greatest success at the 1984 Games in Stoke Mandeville, England. Winning gold medals in each of her four events and breaking four world records, it was one of the most dominant performances by an Australian in Games history.

Seoul 1988 was also memorable. Libby won three gold medals and a silver in air rifle shooting and her husband Stan won gold in the men’s pairs lawn bowls.

More recently, Libby was disappointed to narrowly miss a medal in the 10m air rifle standing, placing fourth in the 10m air rifle standing with a score of 489.1, her best Paralympic result ever in this event.

Still proving herself to be a world beater, she won gold in the 10m air rifle at the 2010 IPC Shooting World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, what she thought would be her last international appearance.

On top of her decorated sporting career, Libby is also an advocate for equality for people with a disability, and was influential in procuring parking permits for people with a disability in South Australia in the 1970s. She is currently employed as a public relations officer for the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of South Australia.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Shooting Disciplines: 10m air rifle prone Classification: SH1
  • Sport: Shooting Disciplines: 10m air rifle standing Classification: SH1