Melissa ‘Milly’ Tapper has had brachial plexus palsy since birth, but she has spent most of her life competing against able-bodied athletes, male and female both.

Having begun playing table tennis at eight, Milly was first selected to represent her country as a junior in the early 2000s. By 18 she was the number one junior female table tennis player in Australia and the U18 Oceania champion, well-primed for a successful career in able-bodied sport.

However, Milly’s world changed when Paralympics Australia suggested she transition to Para-table tennis. Although reluctant at first, she soon began training for national selection with an eye to London 2012, her rise to number one meteoric.

Underneath her humble, calm exterior, Milly is a ruthless competitor. In 2011 alone, she won singles gold at the Hungarian, Italian and British Opens, and the Arafura Games.

Making her Paralympic debut at the London Games, Milly was crowned …

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Date of birth
1 March 1990
Para-table tennis
Past Paralympic Games

London 2012, Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Brachial plexus palsy
How acquired
South Melbourne, VIC
Started competing
Sport career highlights

Placing fourth at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Greatest sporting moments

Winning the 2011 Hungarian and Italian Opens

Heroes/role models

Her dad


  • Sport: Para-table tennis Discipline: Singles Classification: 10
  • Sport: Para-table tennis Discipline: Team Classification: 10

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