Vision impaired athlete Jessica Gallagher made history at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games when she became Australia’s first female representative to medal at the Winter Paralympic Games.
Capping an incredible rise in alpine skiing since joining the program in 2009, Jessica won a bronze medal in the slalom with guide Eric Bickerton.
This Winter Games success followed her selection to represent Australia in long jump, discus, shot put and the 100m sprint at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Unfortunately, the day before the Opening Ceremony, Paralympic classifiers determined her right eye to be 0.1 of a degree too sighted to compete.
A meniscus tear just weeks before competition hampered her preparation for London 2012, resulting in a fifth place finish in long jump and sixth in javelin.
2014 was an interesting year for Jessica. After winning Paralympic bronze in the giant slalom with guide Christian Geiger, she was asked if she would like to try tandem cycling with multiple Olympic medallist Shane Kelly.
In pursuit of her goal of becoming the first Australian to medal at a Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and with long jump removed from the Rio 2016 program, Jessica transitioned to track cycling.
She made her international debut with pilot Madison Janssen at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling World Championships in Montichiari, Italy, where they won gold in the sprint and bronze in the 1km time trial.
These results put them in good stead for Rio 2016, where they won bronze in the 1km time trial, achieving Jessica’s dream of becoming the first Australian athlete to medal at both a Summer and Winter Paralympic Games.