Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – Paraplegia
Sport
Shooting
How acquired
Hiking accident
Date of Birth
April 23, 1975
Home
Meadowbrook, QLD
Occupation
Athlete
Started Competing
2010
First Competed for Australia
2011
Games Experience

London 2012, Rio 2016

Heroes

The Australian Para-shooting team

Career Highlights

Winning bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Bio

Shooter Natalie Smith won Australia’s first medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the 10m air rifle standing. Achieving 492.4 points in the final, she placed third behind Chinese competitor Cuiping Zhang and German Manuela Schmermund.

Natalie became a paraplegic in a hiking accident at 34. An avid skydiver and equestrian, it didn’t take her long to begin looking for a new sport more suited to her ability, and in July 2010 she attended an APC Talent Search Day where she tried shooting.

At the 2011 IPC Shooting World Cup at Fort Benning, USA, Natalie produced the performance of her career to win gold in the  in the 10m air rifle standing. Shooting 395/400 to qualify for the final, she produced a final score of 102.9, setting a new Australian record and cementing her place on the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team.

Following her success in London, Natalie, a qualified nurse, realised a life-long dream when she gave birth to her son Daniel. Incredibly rare for women with paraplegia, doctors were unsure it would ever happen due to the extent of her injury.

At the 2016 IPC World Cup in Al Ain, UAE, Natalie secured a sensational victory over Slovakian Paralympic and world champion Veronika Vadovicova in the 50m rifle 3 positions to win gold, as well as bronze in the 10m air rifle team event with Rio 2016 teammates Anton Zappelli and Libby Kosmala.

Though in fine form leading into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Natalie’s best result was a fifth place finish in the 10m air rifle standing.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Shooting Disciplines: 10m air rifle prone Classification: SH1
  • Sport: Shooting Disciplines: 10m air rifle standing Classification: SH1
  • Sport: Shooting Disciplines: 50m air rifle prone Classification: SH1
  • Sport: Shooting Disciplines: 50m rifle 3 positions Classification: SH1