Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Nerve damage
How acquired
Water skiing accident
Date of Birth
April 27, 1991
Yarra Glen, VIC
Plumber and athlete
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia

Scotty James

Career Highlights

Competing at the IPC World Cup in Lake Tahoe in 2017, where he finished 9th in the snowboard cross

Greatest Moment

Finishing fourth in the world titles for water skiing, against able-bodied competitors


Rising Para-snowboard star Alex Handley began his career in sport as an Australian representative water-skiier but after an accident which resulted in a paralysed arm, he is now on his way to representing his country at a Paralympic Games.

Alex was 21 when he fell off a water ski at 150km per hour. Lucky to come out alive, Alex broke his neck but lost the majority of movement in his right arm. After a delay in rehabilitation due to his neck injury, Alex regained slight movement and spent the following three years learning how to use his left hand and arm as his dominant arm, which included re-learning how to write.

Having been a skier and snowboarder as a teenager, it didn’t take Alex long to find his pathway into Para-sport. He’d seen Para-snowboard on YouTube in the years prior to his accident, and in 2016, went the next step by attending an APC Futures Camp in Perisher, where he was selected to the squad.

Continuing his push towards selection for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Alex fought hard in the snowboard cross but was eliminated by eventual bronze medallist, Canadian Curtis Minard in the first sudden-death round to place 13th overall, clocking a time of 56.72.

A steep learning curve for the Yarra Glen local, Para-snowboard coach Lucas Prem is confident the experience will only improve his chances for success at PyeongChang 2018.

Off the slopes, Alex still enjoys waterskiing, and sites cycling and motorbike riding as two of his other hobbies. His favourite movie is Cool Runnings, and his ultimate goal in life is to be happy and enjoy the ride.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Snowboarding Disciplines: Banked slalom Classification: SB-UL
  • Sport: Snowboarding Disciplines: Snowboard cross Classification: SB-UL