In 2007, following the sudden onset of numbness throughout her body, Emily Petricola was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She was 27. Subsequent and frequent MS attacks severely impacted her ability to function as she had before. Further debilitating symptoms – including extreme fatigue, temporary loss of sight, foot drop, pain, tremors, tingling and numbness through her body – rendered basic tasks challenging and incapacitated Emily for a number of years.

Having always been involved in sporting pursuits before the onset of MS, and encouraged by her network of supporters, Emily remained determined to participate in physical activity. In 2015, her friend and colleague, two-time Olympian Matt Ryan, offered to oversee her training along with another good friend, five-time Olympic cyclist Shane Kelly, and emboldened Emily to dream big. The seed of the Tokyo Paralympic dream was sown!

Emily made her national team debut in 2018 at the Track World Championships …

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Date of birth
24 April 1980
Past Paralympic Games

Tokyo 2020

Physical Impairment – Multiple sclerosis
How acquired
Diagnosed in 2007
West End, QLD
Teacher/Coach Development
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Being selected for her first national team and breaking the WR in the IP, winning 3 x World Championships in one day

Greatest sporting moments

The Australian men's rowing coxless four crew - the Oarsome Foursome - winning the Olympic gold medal in 1996.

Heroes/role models

Shane Kelly for his dignity after the most difficult moment in his sporting career; David Nicholas for his tough and determined approach to racing

Favourite quote
"Set your life on fire, seek those who fan your flames" - Rumi


  • Sport: Para-cycling Classification: C4

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