While most kids his age were playing sport or video games, Tristan Knowles spent his pre-teens inside the four walls of a hospital.

A shock bone cancer diagnosis at nine. Left above-knee amputation. Relapse at 12. 22 courses of chemotherapy. Lung lobectomy. Remission.

But the fighting spirit which saw Tristan overcome a measly survival rate – 10 per cent – is the same fighting spirit which he has used to carve out one of the most successful wheelchair basketball careers in recent memory.

Over nearly two decades, Tristan has represented Australia at four Paralympic Games and four World Championships. He has won a medal at all but one of these – gold at the 2008 Paralympic Games, silver in 2004 and 2012. World titles in 2010 and 2014, bronze in 2006 and 2018.

Four years on from one of the most devastating losses of his career, when it all fell …

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Date of birth
25 April 1983
Sport
Wheelchair basketball
Past Paralympic Games

Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Impairment
Physical Impairment – Left above-knee limb loss
How acquired
Cancer
Residence
Yarraville, VIC
Occupation
Financial planner
Started competing
2000
First competed for Australia
2001
Sport career highlights

Winning a gold medal at the 2010 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Birmingham, England

Greatest sporting moments

Kieran Perkins winning a gold medal from lane eight in the men’s 1500m freestyle at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, and Hawthorn winning back-to-back-to-back AFL Premierships in 2013, 2014 and 2015

Heroes/role models

Jason Dunstall, Dermott Brereton

Favourite quote
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going - Beverly Sills

Disciplines

  • Sport: Wheelchair basketball Classification: 4.0

Social Media

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  • twitter