Quick Facts

Vision Impairment
Alpine Skiing
How acquired
Date of Birth
February 24, 1989
Collie, WA
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Career Highlights

Placing second in the Giant Slalom at the 2017 IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup in Veysonnaz, Switzerland


Collie local Shaun Pianta lost his eyesight after contracting a virus while whitewater rafting on holiday in Bali, Indonesia.

Damaging his optic nerve, he was blind within hours, and following a stint in hospital at the Australian Embassy, he was flown to Perth where he spent three weeks as an inpatient. During this time, he suffered complete kidney failure before making a full recovery after being put on dialysis.

An avid snowboarder before losing his sight, Shaun first discovered Para-alpine skiing in 2012 at a Disabled Wintersport expo in Melbourne. He signed up, and soon set himself the goal of becoming a Paralympian.

Unfortunately, in November 2014, Shaun suffered a horrific setback after breaking both his legs in a training run in Austria ahead of his international debut. Unable to walk, it was seven-and-a-half months before he returned to the slopes, three of those spent in a wheelchair.

Linking up with guide Jeremy O’Sullivan, Shaun began working towards selection for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games.

The duo gained crucial international experience at the 2017 IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, posting career-best scores in the men’s Super-G race two and Giant Slalom to finish second in both events, before making their World Championships debut later that month at the 2017 World Para-alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy.

With his Giant Slalom success in Veysonnaz ranking among the highlights of his career to date, Shaun continues to improve on the slopes, gradually edging closer towards achieving his goal of selection for the Paralympic Games.

Outside of training and competition, Shaun enjoys doing ju-jitsu, mountain biking, fishing and watching Aussie Rules. Currently a full-time athlete, he completed a boilermaking and welding apprenticeship after leaving school, and holds a Certificate III in Business.

Recalling his top embarrassing moments, Shaun hilariously once asked a statue for directions.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Downhill Classification: B3
  • Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Giant Slalom Classification: B3
  • Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Slalom Classification: B3
  • Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Super-G Classification: B3
  • Sport: Alpine Skiing Disciplines: Super Combined Classification: B3