Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – double arm amputee
Sport
Snowboarding
How acquired
Shark attack
Date of Birth
March 22, 1991
Home
Bunbury, WA
Occupation
Athlete
Started Competing
2015
First Competed for Australia
2016
Career Highlights

Placing sixth in snowboard cross at the 2017 IPC Para-snowboard World Cup at Lake Tahoe, USA

Greatest Moment

Competing at the 2016/17 IPC World Cup Finals in PyeongChang, South Korea

Bio

Bunbury native Sean Pollard is one to watch in the next couple of years as he looks to take the Para-snowboard world by storm.

Having only entered the world of Paralympic sport two-and-a-half years ago, he has hit the ground running as he notches up the points he needs to qualify for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games.

An experienced skateboarder, Sean began snowboarding following a chance encounter with head coach of the Australian Para-snowboard Team Lukas Prem, and after attending an APC Winter Sports Futures camp for athletes with upper limb loss, he made his international debut in 2016.

Sean achieved some great top 15 results in his first competitive season on the snow, including a sixth-place finish in the men’s snowboard cross at the 2017 IPC Para-snowboard World Cup at Lake Tahoe, USA, a moment which ranks among the highlights of his still early career.

At the 2016/17 IPC World Cup Finals in PyeongChang, South Korea, he disposed of two-time world championship medallist, Briton Ben Moore in the snowboard cross to finish eighth overall, before wrapping up his inaugural World Cup campaign with an eighth-place finish in the banked slalom.

Sean became a double limb amputee in 2014 when he was attacked by two great white sharks while surfing in a remote area of Esperance’s Wylie Bay. After being bitten on both of his legs, Sean started to fight off the first shark using his surfboard, before it surged a second time, taking both his hands and his left arm.

A second shark then joined the attack, before Sean broke free from their grip and managed to catch a wave back to the shoreline, where a group of beachgoers who had spotted his pool of blood came to the rescue.

Following several operations and a year of rehabilitation, the former electrician returned to the surf.

Equipped with a groundbreaking bionic hand created by Ottobock, its motions are controlled by built-in electrodes which detect movements in Sean’s remaining arm muscles and interpret them using myoelectric software. The hand has two drives, one to allow for automatic positioning of the thumb and another to control the fingers and grip.

Sean has recently completed a Certificate III in Tourism, and would like to work as a tour operator when he retires from sport.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Snowboarding Disciplines: Snowboard cross Classification: SB-UL
  • Sport: Snowboarding Disciplines: Banked slalom Classification: SB-UL