Para-alpine skier and dual New Zealand Winter Games bronze medallist Mark Soyer looks to be on the verge of making his Paralympic debut at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games after missing selection in 2010 and 2014.
Having already overcome leukaemia twice as a child, Mark severed his spinal cord in a motorcycle accident on his parents’ farm in 2004.
With a background in Aussie Rules, skiing and athletics, he was eager to discover what sport would look like for him as a paraplegic, immersing himself in wheelchair sport, kayaking and paragliding just months after his accident.
However, Mark liked the idea of being able to compete against able-bodied athletes as a fierce and genuine rival, and after realising his potential in sit-skiing, it wasn’t long before he carved out a name for himself on the slopes.
Following his dual bronze medal haul at the 2011 New Zealand Winter Games in Queenstown, Mark continued to impress with three fourth place finishes at the 2011 IPC Para-alpine Noram Cup at Copper Mountain, USA, and in 2015 he was among four Australian alpine skiers to be selected to compete at the IPC Para-alpine World Championships in Panorama, Canada.
Making his World Championships return in 2017, Pride of Australia finalist Mark did well to place 13th in the men’s Giant Slalom and 14th in the Slalom, standing him in good stead a year out from the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games.
In his spare time, Mark volunteers as a ski guide for Disabled Wintersport Australia, and in 2016 he was named its inaugural Simon Lo Schiavo Volunteer of the Year.
Sports & Disciplines
- Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Downhill Classification: LW11
- Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Giant Slalom Classification: LW11
- Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Slalom Classification: LW11
- Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Super-G Classification: LW11
- Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Super Combined Classification: LW11