Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Arthrongryposis multiplex
How acquired
Date of Birth
April 4, 1986
Bellbowrie, QLD
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Best World Rank



Roger Federer

Career Highlights

Being selected for the 2014 Para-canoe Sprint World Championships

Greatest Moment

Watching friends of hers compete at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games


A diverse athlete with a background in Para-swimming and Para-equestrian, Susan Seipel has turned her attention to making her Paralympic debut in the sport of Para-canoe.

Born with anthrongryposis multiplex, a rare disorder characterised by the fusion of joints and absent muscle formation in her legs, Susan learnt to swim at the age of four as a form of physiotherapy. Having excelled at the sport from an early age, Susan held six Queensland State records between the ages of 13 and 15, and three Australian National age records in freestyle and backstroke.

While swimming fuelled her competitive spirit, Susan’s real sporting passion was competing in dressage. After learning to ride a horse at the age of seven, she set herself a goal of becoming a Paralympic champion. In 2006, she made her international debut in the sport at the Pacific Rim Para-Equestrian Dressage International Competition in Canada, where she won bronze.

Facing the financial strains of competing in Para-equestrian, Susan found herself looking for another sport to channel her energy into. In 2012, Susan attended an Australian Canoeing Come and Try Day and was inspired by Olympian Amanda Rankin who encouraged her to start training in the sport.

In 2014, Susan attended her first National Championships and won three of her races, with personal best times. She was then selected by Australian head coach Andrea King to represent Australia at the 2014 World Championships in Moscow, Russia where she won her heat, and placed 6th in the final.

In preparations for what will be her first Paralympic Games, Susan has now placing her efforts into K1 training to ensure she is in the best possible form for a podium finish at Rio, and so far she is on track. At the 2015 World Championships, she took a bronze in the 200m KL2 event and in 2016, also took home a bronze in the same event. Susan also raced in the VL2 event, a non-Paralympic event, and claimed the gold medal.

To keep perspective while she chases her Paralympic dream, she reminds herself that each race could be her last and it’s up to her to try and enjoy it.

A passionate sports fan, Susan also has an interest in tennis and looks up to world number 2 player Roger Federer. Having such a diverse background and interest in multiple Para-sport, she  is looking forward to watching her Australian Paralympic teammates dominate  at the Rio 2016 Games.

Susan also loves to travel and although she cites Egypt as her favourite holiday destination, she also enjoys the opportunity to experience Italian culture whenever her team spends time at the AIS European Training Base in Varese. With a promising Para-canoe career ahead of her, there’s no doubt that Susan will be able to see more of the world while competing.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Canoe Disciplines: 200m Sprint Classification: KL2