Madison de Rozario is one of the most promising athletes in wheelchair racing. At just 14, Madison was the youngest athlete in the Beijing 2008 Australian Paralympic Team, but rather than letting the occasion overwhelm her, she made the final of the 100m event before shining as part of the 4x100m relay team that won a silver medal.
Since then, Madison has continued to excel in her events. At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, after just a few weeks recovery from illness, Madison finished fifth in the 100m, 200m and 400m, breaking the Australian record in the 200m.
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 wheelchair sports. Although she initially tried her hand at wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball, her career as an athlete began when Australian Paralympic legend Frank Ponta personally encouraged her to take up wheelchair racing. Since then, she has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the sport being named the WA Junior Sports Star of the Year in 2009 which she considers one of her greatest triumphs.
Making the London 2012 Australian Paralympic team is yet another impressive milestone in Madison’s athletics career so far. The Western Australian came close to winning herself another Paralympic medal at the London 2012 Games, but just missed out, finishing four in the 800m, fifth in the 100m and sixth in the 200m and 400m events. The Games only made Madison more determined to train hard and win medals.
Under the guidance and coaching of wheelchair racing great Louise Sauvage, Madison showed her strength and grit winning a bronze medal in the 800m at the 2013 IPC World Championships in Lyon, France, and upped her result again when she took out the world title in the same event at the 2015 IPC World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
The superstar athlete admires fellow Australian wheelchair racer and training partner Angie Ballard, for her dedication and hard work, and says racing alongside her sporting hero and friend when she broke the 400m world record is by far her greatest sporting moment. Madison also looks to her former coach, Frank Ponta, as heroes who inspire her dreams of winning Paralympic gold.
Nicknamed ‘Bandit’ after the tattoo on her left arm, Madison is currently studying for her Bachelor of Sports Science and Secondary Education degrees at Murdoch University. She also has studied graphic design and in her spare time, likes to produce digital sketches.
Her ultimate goal is to balance full time education and a sporting career and to achieve a world record in one of her pet events.