The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have now officially concluded, and with them came a number of outstanding performances from NSWIS athletes. With a combined total of 128 NSWIS athletes competing at the Olympics and Paralympics, the London Games lived up to the hype and excitement that had been billed since the city was awarded the Games in 2005.
The 2012 London Paralympics were the Institute’s most successful since its inception in 1996, with the previous best coming in Sydney where 21 athletes won 11 gold, nine silver and four bronze medals.
The 2012 Paralympics saw a 43 strong NSWIS contingent compete in London, equating to 14% of the Australian Paralympic team. The Australian team finished with 86 medals – 32 gold, 23 silver and 30 bronze – with 26 NSWIS athletes contributing to 12 gold, nine silver and 16 bronze medals.
Swimmer Jacqueline Freney was the undoubted highlight of the 2012 Paralympic Games, winning a staggering eight gold medals from eight events. Freney won six individual gold medals and two relay medals, with her efforts elevating her to the most successful Australian Paralympian at a single Games, and the most successful athlete of any nation at the 2012 Paralympics.
Paralympic success was also achieved by NSWIS wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt, who led the Australian wheelchair rugby team to gold medal glory. Scoring 160 goals in five matches, including 37 in the final against Canada, Batt won gold for the first time in three attempts at the Games, going one better than his silver medal from Beijing.
Sailor Liesl Tesch was another NSWIS athlete who triumphed at the Games, joining compatriot Daniel Fitzgibbon to win SKUD 18 gold. A six time Paralympian, five of those in wheelchair basketball, Tesch dedicated her maiden Paralympic gold to her mother Pam, who passed away on the opening weekend of the Games following a long battle with cancer.
Youngster Maddison Elliott provided one of the stories of the Paralympic Games, as she won a complete set of medals on Paralympic debut. The 13 year old was the youngest Australian competitor at the Games, and became the youngest Australian medallist in Paralympic history by winning bronze in the women’s S8 400m freestyle on the second day of competition. Elliott then became Australia’s youngest gold medallist in Paralympic history when she triumphed as part of the Australian women’s 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points team.
NSWIS Honour Roll
Michael Auprince, Ryley Batt, Maddison Elliott, Jacqueline Freney, Matthew Levy, Andrew Pasterfield, Liesl Tesch, Prue Watt, Annabelle Williams
Angela Ballard, Taylor Corry, Maddison Elliott, Kurt Fearnley, Kylie Gauci, Katie Hill, Tristan Knowles, Matthew Levy, Tina McKenzie, Grant Mizens, Sarah Stewart, Brett Stibners, Nick Taylor
Tim Antalfy, Michael Auprince, Angela Ballard, Georgia Beikoff, Christie Dawes, Maddison Elliott, Kurt Fearnley, Alexandra Green, Matthew Levy, Richard Nicholson, Jayme Paris, Andrew Pasterfield, Prue Watt
The NSW Institute of Sport would like to congratulate all NSWIS scholarship holders on their achievements at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, and we look forward to another four years of success leading into Rio de Janeiro.