Quick Facts

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

London 2012, Rio 2016

Career Highlights

Competing at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand

Greatest Moment

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


Sam McIntosh’s life changed dramatically in 2007 when he fell off a BMX bike while holidaying with his family in Coffs Harbour, breaking his neck to become a quadriplegic.

While recovering in hospital, the thrill-seeker from Geelong was inspired by stuntmen 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 one, four-and-a-half and nearly five seconds, respectively, and though unable to snatch gold from Swiss champion Beat Boesch at the 2010 Swiss Nationals, finishing second to him in the 100m, 200m and 400m events, these results only further motivated Sam to strive for Paralympic gold.

Achieving finals appearances in all of his events at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sam edged closer to his goal of Paralympic gold at Rio 2016, where he placed just one short of a medal in the 100m.

Despite such success so early in his career, the Drysdale local is considering skipping his pre-competition warm-ups, seeing as most of his personal best times have come from doing this.

Outside of training and competition, Sam watches BMX riding and plays the guitar, with his passion for music once prompting him to wheelchair crowd-surf at a Parkway Drive concert.

Sports & Disciplines

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