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Date of Birth
Woy Woy, NSW
First Competed for Australia
Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012
Mary R Hall, Koen Jansen
Winning Paralympic gold after five Paralympic Games
Playing wheelchair basketball professionally in Spain, Italy and France
Among the most decorated and respected members of the Australian team, wheelchair basketballer Liesl Tesch suddenly changed sports in 2011 and took up sailing. Proving to be as adept at her new sport as she was at her old, the six-time Paralympian joined forces with Beijing sailing silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon in London to win the Paralympic gold that had eluded her throughout her career.
From the very beginning, the high profile pairing experienced considerable success, winning their first ever competition in the 2011 World Cup meets in Miami and Weymouth and taking home bronze in the 2011 World Championships. Capping an amazing first year of sailing for Liesl, she and Daniel were named 2011 Australian Sailors of the Year with a Disability.
The pair was at it again at the 2012 World Championships, claiming a bronze medal followed by gold at the ISAF World Cup. Then in London, during a whirlwind Games campaign where she tragically lost her mother, Liesl’s gold medal dreams came true, with her and Daniel winning Australia’s only sailing medal and the first gold since Sydney 2000.
Before changing to sailing, Liesl was one of the most positive and driven players on the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team. A bike accident in 1998 caused her to turn to wheelchair basketball. She piloted the Gliders to silver medals at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and bronze in Beijing 2008 and was invited to play professionally in a men’s team in Europe. Liesl competed for teams in Madrid, Sardinia and Paris.
Never one to focus on the negative, she believes she has been given the opportunity to promote and encourage others to take an interest in wheelchair sports. She has established several basketball clinics for wheelchair users in third world countries in an effort to see those who would not necessarily have the opportunity reach their potential.
Sport & Disciplines
Classification: TPB (SKUD18)
Sport: Wheelchair Basketball
Disciplines: Wheelchair Basketball