Cyclist Sue Powell made headlines when she won Australia’s first gold medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, claiming victory in the individual pursuit ahead of teammate and bronze medallist Alex Lisney.

She describes the win as the highlight of her career and one of the greatest moments of her life to date, followed closely by her silver medal win in the road time trial just days later.

Sue did not begin cycling professionally until suffering a seemingly innocuous spinal injury while playing hockey at 40. Injuring her sciatica, the accident caused nerve damage, resulting in weakened strength and movement in her right leg.

Having completed a novice racing program with her local cycling club and Paralympic champion Michael Milton years earlier, Sue decided to begin cycling again as a form of rehabilitation.

Impressed by her speed, Para-cycling coach Sian Mulholland encouraged her to pursue the sport at an elite …

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Date of birth
30 May 1967
Past Paralympic Games

London 2012, Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Spinal cord damage
How acquired
Playing hockey
Canberra, ACT
Environmental scientist
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning Australia’s first Paralympic gold at the 2012 Games in London

Greatest sporting moments

Cathy Freeman winning gold at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney


  • Sport: Para-cycling Discipline: Time trial Classification: C4
  • Sport: Para-cycling Discipline: Individual pursuit Classification: C4
  • Sport: Para-cycling Discipline: Team sprint (mixed) Classification: C4
  • Sport: Para-cycling Discipline: Road race Classification: C4
  • Sport: Para-cycling Discipline: Road time trial Classification: C4

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