Liesl Tesch was one of the most decorated and respected members of the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team, the Gliders, when she retired to begin a new career in Para-sailing in 2011.

Impressed with her performance in the 2008 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, three-time Paralympian Daniel Fitzgibbon contacted her about a potential move to Para-sailing and they began training together in early 2011.

The following year, they put the world on notice in the two-person keelboat (SKUD18), winning Australia’s first ever gold medal in that event at the Paralympic Games, and securing Paralympics Australia’s Team of the Year award with the Australian wheelchair rugby team, the Steelers.

Two world titles followed, and Liesl and Daniel steeled themselves for a dogfight to defend their Paralympic crown at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. They placed first in eight of their 11 races and second in three, to become the first team …

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Date of birth
17 May 1969
Past Paralympic Games

Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Incomplete paraplegia
How acquired
Mountain bike accident
Woy Woy, NSW
Member of NSW Parliament
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning a gold medal in the two-person keelboat (SKUD18) at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Greatest sporting moments

Cathy Freeman winning a gold medal in the women's 400m at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Heroes/role models

Troy Sachs, Cathy Freeman, Kylie Minogue

Favourite quote
Just do it


  • Sport: Para-sailing Discipline: Two-person keelboat (SKUD18) Classification: TPB

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