Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Quadriplegia
How acquired
BMX bike accident
Date of Birth
July 13, 1990
Drysdale, VIC
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

London 2012

Career Highlights

Competing at the 2011 World Championships and lining up against some of the best racers in the world

Greatest Moment

When Carey Hart did the first back flip on a motorcycle


Sam McIntosh’s life changed dramatically in 2007 when he fell off a BMX bike whilst on holiday with his family in Coffs Harbour. The accident broke Sam’s neck and he became a quadriplegic.

While recovering in hospital, the thrill-seeking boy from Geelong immediately drew inspiration from stunt men he saw performing back flips in their 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.

Training with Richard’s coach Mandi Cole, in just 12 months Sam had improved his times in the T52 100m (by more than a second), 200m (by more than 4.5 seconds) and 400m (by nearly five seconds).

Going into the London Games, Sam held the Australian records across all three distances, breaking the 100m record with his fifth place finish at the 2011 IPC World Championships.

Competing in the final of all three events he contested in Christchurch, the 2011 World Championships was Sam’s first appearance for the senior Australian team. Shortly afterwards, Sam won gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m at the 2011 National Titles.

Sam was unable to snatch gold from Swiss T52 champion Beat Boesch at the 2010 Swiss Nationals, finishing second to him across all three distances. But Boesch’s wins have only further motivated Sam to strive for Paralympic gold and show his competitors that he means business.

He is close to adopting the novel theory of missing the warm up prior to competition, acknowledging most of his personal best times have come when he hasn’t done anything before racing. While he is currently concentrating on track racing, Sam believes he will contest road events in the years to come.

Outside of athletics, Sam continues to watch BMX bike riding and plays the guitar. His passion for music even extended to him crowd-surfing in his wheelchair at a Parkway Drive concert, where he was able to scream into the microphone once he had surfed his way to the stage. A multi-talented individual, Sam also designs T-shirts, utilising both his freehand skills and computer program skills.

Sports & Disciplines

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