Ella Pardy grew up keenly interested in sport, so it comes as a surprise to most people that she didn’t start competing in athletics until the age of 16, after participating in a Special Olympics state day.

Although it took most of her teenage years to find her niche, Ella rose quickly to the top, debuting for Australia at the 2007 Special Olympics Shanghai World Games, where she won gold in the 100m sprint. Ella says that the happiness she felt standing atop the dais is etched into her memory, and motivated her massively ahead of her first Paralympic Games.

Ella developed cerebral palsy from asphyxiation during her 28-hour delivery, and at the age of three, she was also diagnosed with autism. She first got involved in sport in the hope it would ease her insomnia, participating in ice skating, swimming, basketball and horse riding.

In 2009 and 2011 Ella …

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Date of birth
22 December 1990
Past Paralympic Games

Rio 2016

How acquired
Duncraig, WA
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning gold at the 2013 Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney

Greatest sporting moments

Cathy Freeman winning gold in the 400m at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney

Heroes/role models

Kurt Fearnley


  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 100m Classification: T38
  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 4x100m relay Classification: T38

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