Quick Facts

How acquired
Car accident
Physical Impairment – Acquired brain injury
Date of Birth
January 4, 1977
McKellar, ACT
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012


Louise Sauvage

Career Highlights

Winning gold at Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and silver at London 2012

Greatest Moment

Breaking the world record and winning gold in the shot put at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games


Growing up in a large family of water-sport lovers, Louise Ellery decided to set herself apart. Her two brothers and sister have competed at national levels in swimming and water polo respectively but Louise chose to make her mark on land through dancing and basketball.

A car accident in 1998 left Louise in a vegetative state after being in a coma for five months. Defying all odds, after not being ‘able’ enough to complete rehabilitation, she started athletics for some fresh air and a new challenge. She soon found an affinity with shot put and has now competed at three Paralympic Games.

First representing Australia at the Athens 2004 Paralympics, Louise went on to achieve a world number one ranking for seated shot put in 2005. She was named the ACT Athletics Outstanding AWD Athlete in 2003-2004, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 as well as the Athletics Australia Female Athlete with a Disability of the Year 2009-2010. The Beijing Games saw her finish sixth in the shot put, an effort of which she is very proud of considering she suffered migraines throughout the Games.

Louise’s athletic ability shone through in 2010, winning gold at the Delhi Commonwealth Games with a world record throw of 6.17m. She later beat her world record at a domestic competition in Canberra with a distance of 6.24m. A bronze medal at the 2011 IPC World Championships 18 months out from the London Games indicated Louise’s medal potential and in London she won her first ever Paralympic medal with silver in the shot put.

Although London was an exciting time for Louise, she admits that her Paralympic experience wasn’t completely smooth. Her most embarrassing moment took place in the dining hall at the Paralympic Village when she misplaced her phone. Stressed and upset, thinking someone had stolen it, she asked athletes and staff around her to look out for it. She searched through her whole room, only to find it in her bra, where she had previously left it.

Before each competition, Louise likes to get into gear by listening to her music at a maximum volume while singing loudly. She also keeps a key ring that her late brother gave to her in her bag, and looks at it before taking to the field.

The one-time model is also a great scrabble player, loves her 18-year-old dog Sachi and is a fan of the Australian band Butterfingers and Numbers Radio. She graduated from Canberra Institute of Technology with a Certificate III in Business along with her mother and coach June. It was a momentous occasion as the pair had spent seven years studying in between training commitments. Louise has since furthered her studies, completing a Certificate IV in HR.

Louise’s goal in sport is to regain her world record to win gold and hopes to do that at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: Shot put Classification: F32