Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – Right below-knee limb loss
Sport
Athletics
How acquired
Amputation as a result of fibula deficiency
Date of Birth
July 14, 1998
Home
Engadine, NSW
Occupation
Student
Started Competing
2007
First Competed for Australia
2014
Games Experience

Rio 2016

Heroes

Her parents

Career Highlights

Winning silver in long jump at the 2014 Sainsbury’s International Match in Glasgow

Greatest Moment

Representing Australia at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Bio

Born without her fibula, Sarah Walsh was just 18-months old when her parents made the decision to have her left leg amputated. Running on her prosthetic leg within a week of it being fitted, it was a tell-tale sign that she was a Paralympic athlete in the making.

Sarah participated in swimming and gymnastics before discovering Para-sport at the age of nine, ahead of her first school athletics carnival. Her PE teacher noticed that her results were comparable to those of her able-bodied classmates and she was encouraged to enter the Zone Athletics Carnival. After that, she was hooked.

That same year, Sarah raced at the 2007 NSW State Championships, after which she was selected to represent her state at a national level. Over the next couple of years, her passion for sprinting grew, and when she was gifted her first running blade, Sarah promised herself that she would become the best athlete she could be.

With several junior titles and national records to her name, it was no surprise when, in 2014, Sarah debuted for Australia at the Sainsbury’s International Match in Glasgow. She fell just short of gold in the long jump, claiming silver behind a Paralympian with years’ more experience.

As the only Australian athlete invited to compete against a group of athletes from Great Britain, Scotland and America, Sarah says that the experience was a true “pinch-myself moment”, and that the excitement of wearing green and gold motivated her further during training for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

At her Paralympic debut, Sarah placed sixth in long jump after landing a whopping 4.82m, a new Oceanic record.

Sarah is coached by Brett Robinson and trains six days a week. She completes three track sessions, two home-gym sessions and a pool session, in which she either swims or does water running. She also plays wheelchair basketball with the Sutherland Wheelie Sharks, with hopes to represent Australia in it as well.

The oldest of three sisters, Sarah says that her parents have been instrumental to her success, supporting and encouraging her to pursue her dreams.

Outside of athletics and wheelchair basketball, the talented Sydneysider is also a keen surfer, for which she uses a waterproof leg. She has been surfing longer than she has been running, and tries to catch a wave whenever she travels.

One of Sarah’s favourite places to visit is Ireland, where both her parents were born and her grandparents and cousins still live.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: Long Jump Classification: T44