Greg Smith

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Quick Facts

Disability
Quadriplegia
How acquired
Car accident
Date of Birth
Sat, 19/08/1967
Home
Buninyong, VIC
Occupation
Athlete
Started Competing
2003
First Competed for Australia
2007
Games Experience
Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012
Heroes
Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Suzie O’Neil and Michael Johnson
Career Highlights
Winning three gold at Sydney 2000 Paralympics, winning gold at London 2012
Greatest Moment
Competing in the Sydney 2000 Paralympics at a home Games in front of all his family

Bio

At 19, Greg Smith was a qualified physical training instructor in the Australian Army, when a car accident left him a quadriplegic.

With a break to his lower neck and paralysis from the chest down, he was told by doctors that he would spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair, sitting at home with a blanket on his lap. His life as he knew it was over. However Greg has never been a person who listens to the words “you can't do it” and after three months on his back in bed in traction, he got on with the job of living again.

Shortly after completing rehab, Greg was introduced to wheelchair racing and with a new set of goals in his life that involved pushing himself to the limit, he was soon representing Australia. By the end of a 15 year career, Greg was ranked number one in his class in the world, cementing this ranking with two world records and three Paralympic gold medals in 2000 in the 800m, 1500m and 5000m.

Retiring from athletics in 2002, Greg had a two year break from elite sport until he played some local wheelchair rugby for fun. By the end of his first season in 2004, he had won the NSW state league Most Valuable Player Award and the National Wheelchair Rugby League Best New Talent and by 2006, found his way into the Australian team, where he won silver in Beijing.

Following Beijing, Greg retired from competitive wheelchair rugby and took up a role as assistant coach to Steelers’ head coach Brad Dubberley. While he enjoyed coaching, in 2010 he decided he still had something to offer the team and began training again. He was selected to the national squad in 2011 and believes winning gold as part of a team was one of the greatest experiences of his life, together with leading the Australian Team into the London Opening Ceremony as flag bearer.

Greg has now retired from wheelchair rugby.



Sport & Disciplines

Sport: Wheelchair Rugby
Classification: 2.0