Liesl Tesch was one of the most decorated and respected members of the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team 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, Beijing 2008 silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon contacted her about a potential move to sailing and they began training together in early 2011. Steeling themselves for a dogfight at the London 2012 Games, Liesl and Daniel stunned their competition with a gold medal-winning performance of 14.0, claiming Australia’s first ever in that event at a Paralympic Games and securing them the Paralympics Australia’s Team of the Year award with wheelchair rugby team the Steelers. Following London, they won gold at the 2014 and 2015 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships and bronze in 2016, and at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games they placed first in eight and second in three… Read More

Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Incomplete paraplegia
Private: Sailing
How acquired
Mountain bike accident
Date of Birth
May 17, 1969
Woy Woy, NSW
High school teacher
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

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


Troy Sachs, Kylie Minogue and Cathy Freeman

Career Highlights

Wheeling out at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony and winning gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London

Greatest Moment

Cathy Freeman winning gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Private: Sailing Disciplines: 2-person keelboat (SKUD18) Classification: TPB