Melissa Tapper makes history. No matter which way you cut it, that’s a fact.

On track for a successful career in able-bodied sport, Melissa’s world was turned upside down when Paralympics Australia suggested she transition to Para-table tennis. She soon began training for national selection, and her rise in the sport was meteoric.

She reached the bronze medal match on debut at the London 2012 Paralympic Games which, at the time, was Australia’s best performance in Para-table tennis at a Paralympic Games in 28 years.

Following the Games, she became the first Australian Paralympic table tennis player to qualify for an able-bodied national team when she was selected to represent Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and in 2016, Melissa made history again when she became the first Australian to compete at a Paralympic and Olympic Games in the same year.

But her most memorable moment to …

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

London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020

Physical Impairment – Brachial plexus palsy
How acquired
South Melbourne, VIC
Athlete, receptionist and speaker
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Playing in front of a home crowd at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, QLD

Greatest sporting moments

Watching Cathy Freeman win the women’s 400m at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Heroes/role models

Her parents

Favourite quote
Only the strong survive


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

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