Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – Quadriplegia
Sport
Athletics
How acquired
BMX riding accident
Date of Birth
July 13, 1990
Home
Drysdale, VIC
Occupation
Athlete
Started Competing
2009
First Competed for Australia
2011
Games Experience

London 2012, Rio 2016

Career Highlights

Competing at the 2011 World Championships in Christchurch, where he lined up against some of the world’s top racers

Greatest Moment

When Carey Hart became the first person to do a backflip on a motorcycle

Bio

Sam McIntosh’s life changed dramatically in 2007 when he fell off a BMX bike while holidaying with his family in Coffs Harbour. He broke his neck and became a quadriplegic.

While recovering in hospital, the thrill-seeker from Geelong was inspired by stunt men he saw performing back flips in wheelchairs and turned his attention to wheelchair rugby. However, a chance encounter with Kaye Colman, the mother of Paralympic gold medallist Richard Colman, directed Sam down the path of wheelchair racing.

In a 12-month period, and guided by Richard’s coach Mandi Cole, Sam managed to improve his times in the 100m, 200m and 400m by just over 1, 4.5 and nearly 5 seconds, respectively.

At the 2010 Swiss Nationals, Sam was unable to snatch gold from Swiss champion Beat Boesch, finishing second to him in the 100m, 200m and 400m events. However, these results only further motivated Sam to strive for Paralympic gold.

Sam’s first appearance in a senior Australian team came at the 2011 World Championships in Christchurch, where he reached the finals of the three events he entered. Not long after, he won gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m at the 2011 National Titles.

In his Paralympic debut, Sam contested the 100m and 200m, placing 5th and 6th in his heats. He improved significantly in the lead-up to Rio, where he was just one short of a medal in the 100m.

This talented young Victorian is considering skipping his pre-competition warm-ups, acknowledging that most of his personal best times have when come adopting this method. Also, while he is currently focused on track racing, Sam expects to contest road events at some point down the line.

In his spare time, Sam watches BMX riding and plays the guitar. His passion for music once saw him crowd-surf to the stage at a Parkway Drive concert, where he was given the opportunity to scream into the microphone. A multi-talented individual, Sam also designs T-shirts, utilising both freehand and computer skills.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 100m Classification: T52
  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 400m Classification: T52