Being named captain of the Australian Para-boccia squad
Being in the crowd for both the Sydney Swans 2005 AFL Premiership win and Cathy Freeman winning gold at Sydney 2000
Thoughtful and considered are two words fellow athletes would use to describe Dean Nottle, whose goal in life is to be the best he can be.
The 60-year-old, who is passionate about living life to its fullest, developed a degenerative muscle disease later in life and in 2011, took up boccia as a way to be involved with sport where he wasn’t scoring or timekeeping.
Since then, he has been training with New South Wales boccia coaches in Woy Woy on the state’s central coast and hopes to make his Australian debut soon.
Watching Michael Clarke score a triple century when his whole side was in trouble
Daniel Michel has only played boccia for a little while but his passion and determination in the sport is there for all to see. Having grown up loving and watching sport, especially cricket, discovering boccia changed this Sydney teenager’s life.
Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Daniel found it difficult to play most sports until he found boccia as a 15-year-old. Since then, he has competed at a number of state titles, experiencing victory in the 2013 Victorian State Titles, and hopes to one day compete at a Paralympic Games, with Rio 2016 firmly in his sights.
American sit skiers Alana Nichols and Laura Stevens
Winning silver in the slalom at the 2013 North America Cup
Winning silver in the slalom at the 2013 North America Cup, competing at Sochi 2014
As a child, Victoria ‘Tori’ Pendergast was on a family holiday at the snow when Disabled Wintersports Australia spotted her on the slopes. Having opened her and her family’s eyes to the world of Paralympic ski racing, Tori attended a number of camps with the APC development squad and in 2010 made her competitive debut at the New Zealand Winter Games.
For 17-year-old Torita Isaac, athletics means everything. As one of Australia’s brightest sparks for the future, she is set to make her international debut on the world’s biggest stage at the London Paralympic Games.
Sarah Rose first competed in swimming in 2001 after being inspired by the Sydney Paralympic Games. She moved speedily through the ranks and made her Australian debut two years later at the Canadian National Championships.
It didn’t take long for Sarah to realise her Paralympic dream as she was selected in the Australian swimming team for the 2004 Games.
The Pymble resident emerged from Athens with a bronze medal in the 50m butterfly and stamped her authority with a series of sterling performances in the following years.
Jeremy McClure may have lost 98 per cent of his sight at the age of 15, but he did not lose his vision for inspiring young people.
The West Australian turned his disability into a passion for swimming and his immediate success in the pool received acclaim from those around him. In just his second year of competing for Australia, Jeremy was first selected in the swimming team for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.
He then reached his second consecutive Paralympic final in the 100m backstroke at Beijing 2008.
Competing in four events at the 2009 Youth Paralympics
Young swimming prospect Reagan Wickens is running into form at just the right time, shaping as one to watch out for at London 2012.
Born with achondraplasia, a bone growth disorder that causes dwarfism, Reagan first made waves at the 2009 Australian Paralympic Youth Games, taking home five medals, including gold in the 100m breaststroke.
He has since gone from strength to strength and won all three of his events at the 2011 NSW Multi Class Championships as well as two gold and four silver medals at the 2011 Para-Pan Pacific Championships.
Breaking the world record at a short course championships in the 100m butterfly
Making his first National Swimming Team in 2010
Bursting onto the scene at the 2009 Australian Short Course Championships, Aaron Rhind broke the world record in the 100m butterfly, cutting a whopping 3.41 seconds off the original record. He swam six personal best times at the event and has since gone from strength to strength. After dropping back to the S6 category for the 2011 Arafura Games, he picked up one silver and two bronze medals from a successful campaign in Darwin.
Swimmer Katrina Porter is not a fan of birds but that doesn’t mean she can’t fly. She won a gold medal and smashed the world record in the 100m backstroke at the 2008 Paralympic Games, living out a long held dream. The only female swimmer to win a gold medal at the Beijing Games, Katrina broke the world record in her heat before taking home first prize in the final. In 2009, Katrina received the Order of Australia Medal in recognition of her service to sport as a gold medallist.
Winning gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay and bronze in the 4x100m medley relay at London 2012
Geoff Huegill’s comeback to win gold at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games
Despite only having recently burst onto the scene, Matthew Haanappel has set his sights for the top of Paralympic sport. Heading into his first Paralympic Games in London, he was hungry for gold and achieved his dream as part of the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team. And if gold wasn’t enough, the 18-year-old helped the medley relay team to a bronze medal to finish his debut Games campaign.