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

A little over a year later, she was crowned Paralympic champion for the first time, after partnering with Daniel Fitzgibbon in the two-person keelboat SKUD18 to win Australia’s first Paralympic gold medal in that event and Paralympics Australia’s Team of the Year award alongside Daniel and the Australian wheelchair rugby team, the Steelers.

Two world titles followed, and in 2016, Liesl and Daniel cemented their place among the greatest ever Para-sailors, finishing first in eight of their 11 races and second in the remaining three, to become the first team in history to win back-to-back Paralympic gold medals in the two-person keelboat SKUD18.

For this, Liesl and Daniel were again honoured with Paralympics Australia’s Team of the Year …

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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

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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