Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – Paraplegia
Sport
Alpine Skiing
How acquired
Motorcycle accident
Date of Birth
April 24, 1978
Home
Benalla, VIC
Occupation
Athlete and jeweller
Started Competing
2007
First Competed for Australia
2007
Heroes

Dave Grohl

Career Highlights

Representing Australia at the 2015 and 2017 World Para-alpine Skiing Championships

Bio

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’s resilience was tested again when he severed his spinal cord in a motorcycle accident while working on his parents’ farm in 2004.

Equipped with a background in Aussie Rules, skiing and athletics, he was eager to discover what sport would look like for him as a paraplegic. Mere months after his accident, Mark immersed himself in wheelchair sport, kayaking and paragliding, welcoming the challenge of competing against able-bodied athletes as a fierce and genuine rival.

Realising his potential in sit-skiing, he began carving out a name for himself on the slopes, culminating in his international debut in Giant Slalom and Slalom at the 2007 IPC Alpine Skiing NorAm Cup in Colorado, USA.

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 Alpine Skiing NorAm Cup at Copper Mountain, USA, and in 2015 he was one of an elite group of four Para-alpine skiers selected to represent Australia at the IPC Alpine Skiing 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 PyeongChang 2018.

No stranger to injury, Mark has dislocated his shoulders several times, and in early 2017 he had surgery to repair 12 broken ribs and his collarbone, spending five months on the sidelines.

Committed to developing Para-alpine skiing in Australia, Mark has volunteered as a trainer and guide for Disabled Wintersport Australia since 2005, and in 2016 he was named its inaugural Simon Lo Schiavo Volunteer of the Year.

Outside of training and competition, Mark works as a jeweller, having completed a three-year degree in gemmology at the Gemmology Institute of Australia in 2001. In 10 years’ time, he hopes to have a business of his own.

In his spare time, Mark enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, and watching the MotoGP.

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