Quick Facts

Disability
Vision Impairment – Macular dystrophy
Sport
Cycling
How acquired
Congenital
Date of Birth
July 21, 1978
Home
Wamberal, NSW
Occupation
Account executive at Optus and motivational speaker
Started Competing
2011
First Competed for Australia
2011
Games Experience

Rio 2016

Heroes

Kelly Slater

Career Highlights

Breaking the world record and winning the world championship title in the tandem B pursuit at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico

Bio

It didn’t take long for 36-year-old Matt Formston to make a name for himself in Australian Para-cycling, and since making his debut for Australia in 2011, he has won ten national titles and is a world champion, world record holder and world cup gold medallist across three disciplines.

Born with macular dystrophy, a genetic eye disorder that causes vision loss, Matt has been legally blind since the age of five. Despite now having no central vision and less than five per cent of his peripheral vision, it has never stopped him from participating in sport.

Matt learned to ride a bike when he was four and also grew up playing able-bodied ice hockey and rugby union at a representative level.

Although he had always enjoyed cycling, he fell in love with the sport when he rode from Sydney to Melbourne for the Macular Degeneration Foundation in 2009.

Living in Sydney at the time, Matt was introduced to competitive Para-cycling through Clarence Street Cycling. The store’s owners referred him to the National Para-cycling Development Coordinator Tom Skulander, who later became his coach.

Ahead of his and pilot Nick Yallouris’ Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games, they were confident they could achieve Paralympic gold. Competing in four events, they placed fifth in the 4000m individual pursuit, just missing a berth in the race for bronze, sixth in the 1000m time trial and 13th in the time trial B and road race B.

He MaMMGuided by Tom, Matt made his international debut at the 2011 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark where he and pilot Phillip Thuaux

Matt and Nick are renowned for their strict training schedules, training a minimum 13 days per fortnight.

Off the bike, Matt is an avid surfer and can often be found at his local break in Wamberal. He also scuba dives and has a knack for photography, pairing them together to become an amateur underwater photographer.

In ten years’ time Matt hopes to be travelling around Australia with his wife and his family.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Cycling Disciplines: 1km time trial Classification: B2
  • Sport: Cycling Disciplines: Individual pursuit Classification: B2
  • Sport: Cycling Disciplines: Road race Classification: B2
  • Sport: Cycling Disciplines: Road time trial Classification: B2