When Rosemary Little was 12-years-old, she contracted a form of autoimmune encephalitis, causing idiopathic spastic quadriplegia and generalised dystonia. This meant that she had to relearn all of the skills she had developed up until that point, and has no memory of her life between the ages of 12 and 18.

After attending a Wheelchair Sports NSW ‘Come and Try’ day in 2003, Rosemary began competing in wheelchair racing but devastatingly, was 0.02 seconds short of qualifying for the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. Following this defeat and a bout of illness, she took a hiatus from the sport and did not return to it until the back end of 2011.

In 2011 Rosemary endured another setback when she competed in the City2Surf and collided with another athlete, severely damaging the right disc wheel of her chair. She had to raise the $8,000 required to purchase a new one before …

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Date of birth
27 August 1982
Past Paralympic Games

London 2012, Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Idiopathic spastic quadriplegia and generalised dystonia
How acquired
Autoimmune encephalitis
West Pennant Hills, NSW
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning silver in the 200m and bronze in the 100m at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France

Greatest sporting moments

Winning bronze in the 100m at the London 2012 Paralympic Games


  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 100m Classification: T34
  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 400m Classification: T34
  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 800m Classification: T34

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