Vanessa was a two-time Paralympian for Germany before she started representing Australia in 2019. She is a Paralympic gold and silver medallist, six-time World Championships medallist and the reigning world record holder in the women’s long jump T61. She has worked tirelessly over the last 10 years to establish herself among the best Para-athletics competitors in the world, and given how far she has come since making her international debut in 2009, she has also done plenty to inspire the next generation of track athletes in Australia, Germany and across the globe.

When Vanessa was 15, she accidentally stumbled from an overcrowded platform and into the path of an oncoming train. She lost her left leg above the knee and right leg through the knee, and sustained head and back injuries and multiple broken bones. Vanessa spent the next six months in hospital, and by the time she was discharged, …

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Date of birth
17 July 1990
Past Paralympic Games

London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020

Physical Impairment – Left above-knee and right through-knee limb loss
How acquired
Train accident
Florey, ACT
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning a gold medal in the women’s long jump T42 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Greatest sporting moments

Her gold medal ceremony at Rio 2016

Heroes/role models

Michael Schumacher

Favourite quote
This too shall pass


  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: Long jump Classification: T61

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