Madison de Rozario is one of the most promising young athletes in wheelchair racing. As the youngest competitor in the 2008 Australian Paralympic Team, 14-year-old Madison was stoked to be a part of the 4x100m relay team that won silver. She also raced well enough to compete in the final of the 100m event.
At the age of four, Madison acquired transverse myelitis, a neurological disease inflaming the spinal cord, but it wasn’t until she was 12-years-old that she got her first look into the world of Paralympic sport. After initially trying her hand at wheelchair tennis and basketball, Australian Paralympic legend, Frank Ponta, encouraged her to take up racing.
In 2009 Madison was named the WA Junior Sports Star of the Year, a moment she still considers one of her greatest triumphs, and at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, following just a few weeks recovery from illness, she set a new Australian record in the 200m.
The Western Australian came close to winning a second Paralympic medal at the London Games, crossing for fourth in the 800m ahead of her hero and training partner, Angie Ballard. Madison admires Angie for her dedication and hard work, and says that racing alongside her when she broke the 400m world record is by far her greatest sporting moment.
Under the tutelage of wheelchair racing great, Louise Sauvage, Madison cemented her place among the world’s best when she won bronze in the 800m at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France and took out the world title in the same event in 2015 in Doha, Qatar.
Madison moved one step closer to achieving her dream of Paralympic gold when she won individual silver at the 2016 Games in Rio. She also placed third in the 4x400m relay but was disqualified, before successfully appealing the decision and being reinstated to second.
Nicknamed ‘Bandit’ after the tattoo on her left arm, Madison is currently studying Bachelors of Sports Science and Secondary Education at Murdoch University. She has previously studied graphic design and in her spare time likes to produce digital sketches.
Madison’s ultimate goal is to balance a full-time education and sporting career, and to achieve a world record in one of her pet events.