As a young girl, Meica Horsburg threw herself into a range of sports and knew that she would one day represent Australia on the world stage. However, it wasn’t until 2004 that she found the sport that was going to take her the distance.
Meica was first introduced to goalball as a child through her brother and sister, so it comes to a surprise to many that she only considered participating in the sport in high school. Once she did, she became addicted to the competition and her sharp skills soon caught the attention of a former Australian player.
It wasn’t long before she joined the Queensland state team, where she was surrounded by some of the countries strongest players. Learning from them, she fine-tuned her stills and after a few short months of competing, was invited to train with the Australian women’s squad.
In 2004, Meica made her international debut, the same year she started playing the sport when she played at the Malmo Women’s International Cup in Sweden. Up against seven teams that had qualified for Athens 2004, she had a goal of making the Paralympic team for Beijing 2008, however the Australian team failed to qualify.
Eight years later, not without hard work and determination, Meica triumphantly walked in the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. Not only had she achieved her own personal mission, but she was part of the first Australian goalball team to qualify for a Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000.
Meica is the longest serving member of the Australian women’s goalball team and she is determined to lead her team to victory as they qualify for Rio.
Before each event she contests, Meica gets into competition mode by listening to really loud music, acting silly and doing anything to not over think the game ahead of her. Together with her team, they play high school drama games lead by teammate and drama teacher Jenny Blow, which helps them mentally prepare and focus.
Meica draws inspiration from both Australian and international goalball squads, listing the Australian men’s goalball team and four-time USA Paralympic goalball player Asya Miller as goalballers she looks up to. Since her beginnings in goalball at 15, she has aimed to be as good a player as Asya and hopes to one day defeat her on the goalball court.
Off the court, Meica loves water skiing, travelling and experiencing new things. In ten years time hopes to have competed in another Paralympic Games and happily married with children.