Russell Short is one of the most successful Australian Para-athletes of all time, having just returned from his eighth Paralympic Games.
Debuting in Seoul in 1988, the talented field athlete has won six gold, two silver and three bronze medals spread across discus, shot put and javelin – this in addition to four gold and three silver medals at World Championship level.
Russell, who has macular degeneration, was given the honour of carrying the Australian flag during the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Games in Beijing. Placing sixth in shot put, these Games were the first that he missed the dais in 20 years, before returning four years later in London with bronze.
Off the track, Russell is equally determined to make waves. He once walked the Kokoda Trail as the subject of a documentary, and paddled 400km from Australia to New Guinea across the Torres Strait.
Originally hailing from Poowong in country Victoria, the Glen Huntly local loves to return home to his five acre property whenever possible, often taking his kids and dog out camping to indulge in some quality relaxation time.
The first athlete with a disability to be accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport, Russell was awarded an OAM in 1993 for his dual gold medal haul at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games.