As a youngster growing up in a small rural town in south-western Queensland, Janine Watson became heavily involved in community and representational sport, leading to a successful career in Exercise Science and Secondary Education.

At 25, Janine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a progressive, debilitating disease where the body’s immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord and for which there is no known cure. Shortly afterwards, she decided to take up Taekwondo and within nine months had won her first Australian Championship. With no place in Para-sport for people living with MS, Janine competed against able-bodied athletes, winning multiple state, national and international titles in sparring and Poomsae.

By 2015, Janine’s MS had progressed to the point she was no longer able to compete safely against able-bodied athletes. With no classification category in Para-taekwondo available for her to continue sparring, she concentrated on the Poomsae side of the …

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Date of birth
4 June 1981
Past Paralympic Games

Tokyo 2020

Physical Impairment – Multiple sclerosis
How acquired
Diagnosed in 2007
Brisbane, QLD
Full-time athlete
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning three consecutive World Championships in the P34 Poomsae Division for Taekwondo in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Also, winning four consecutive Australian Singles Titles in Wheelchair Tennis, in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Favourite quote
“Knock me down seven times, I get up eight.” – Jidokwan teaching. “If you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have. If you focus on what you have, you lose what you lack.” – Greg McKeown


  • Sport: Para-taekwondo Discipline: Kyorugi (Sparring) Classification: K44

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