Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Paraplegia
Private: Sailing
How acquired
Snowboarding accident
Date of Birth
February 25, 1981
Lindisfarne, TAS
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

London 2012, Rio 2016


Kelly Slater, Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page

Career Highlights

Qualifying for the London 2012 Paralympic Games


After becoming a paraplegic in a snowboarding accident at 23, Matthew Bugg decided to try to reach the pinnacle of Para-sailing in Australia and internationally.

Based at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Matthew made his international debut at the 2010 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands.

His breakthrough performance came the following year, defeating 15 boats including three former champions and two Paralympians to win National Championships gold.

Matthew placed 15th at the 2011 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships in Weymouth, England and 11th at the same event in 2012. By that time he was ranked fifth in the world and prepared to take on the world’s best at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Placing seventh in London in the 1-person keelboat, Matthew began working towards a podium finish at Rio 2016.

At the 2014 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships in Halifax, Canada, he was a member of the Australian team named best performing nation across all Paralympic classes, and at the 2016 Games in Rio he became the first Australian ever to win a Paralympic medal in his class with silver, edging closer to achieving his goal of becoming the best 2.4mR sailor in the world.

In his spare time the 2016 Tasmanian Athlete of the Year enjoys sailing, fishing, cooking, travelling, reading and playing wheelchair basketball.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Private: Sailing Disciplines: 1-person keelboat (2.4mR) Classification: MD