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Transverse myelitis - viral infection
Date of Birth
St Agnes, SA
First Competed for Australia
Kurt Fearnley and Richard Colman
Making the A-qualifying standard for the marathon at 16 years old
Winning the junior race at the 2012 Oz Day 10km in Sydney
A brilliant performer in a wide range of junior athletic events, Nathan Arkley is approaching what promises to be the first of many Paralympic Games at London 2012.
At the age of 15, Nathan burst onto the scene in impressive style, snaring two gold medals and five silvers at the 2009 IWAS Junior World Championships in Switzerland. He again registered an eye catching display at the 2010 Underage National Championships, blitzing the field with four gold medals.
Since then, he has competed in a range of senior events in preparation for his tilt at the London Paralympics. His form has been promising, too. Nathan returned stunning results at the 2011 Arafura Games, winning four gold medals from as many events. He placed fourth in the 400m, 800m and 1500m events at the 2011 National Titles.
When Nathan was eight, he attempted to get up for lunch but found he could not move from his seat in class. He was rushed to intensive care, where he was diagnosed with a spinal condition called transverse myelitis, causing his spinal muscles to stop working and leaving him paralysed from the waist down.
Nathan threw himself into wheelchair sport after the diagnosis and has quickly developed a reputation for an intense training regime, sometimes clocking up to 200 km per week. Despite his development as an athlete, he has maintained focus on his studies and is on track to complete his schooling at St Paul’s College in South Australia by 2012.
Expertly guided by coach John Hammon since the start of his athletic career, Nathan uses the attitude and success of Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley as inspiration, describing Kurt as a very generous person. He promises to be one of the next generation of great Australian Paralympians and hopes to one day win marathon gold.
Sport & Disciplines