Russell Short is one of the most successful Australian Para-athletes of all time, having just returned from his 8th 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 6th in the shot put, these Games were the first that he missed the dais in 20 years.
Off the track, the Glen Huntly local is equally determined to make waves. He once walked the Kokoda Trail as the subject of a documentary and paddled 400 kilometres from Australia to New Guinea across the Torres Strait.
Originally from Poowong in country Victoria, Russell 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.
As the first athlete with a disability to be accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport, Russell has rightly been awarded an OAM and an Advance Australia Award for his contributions to Para-sport.