Wheelchair Racer Christie Dawes has represented Australia at an incredible seven Paralympics Games, medalling at three of them.
Christie began wheelchair racing after becoming a paraplegic in a car accident at age 10. While watching Louise Sauvage compete at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics 12-year-old Christie decided that she wanted to be a Paralympian. Four years later she was lining up on the track at the 1996 Atlanta Games and named Young Paralympian of the Year by the International Paralympic Committee.
At the 1998 IPC Athletics World Championships, Christie won gold with her Australian teammates in both the women’s 4x100m T54-55 and the women’s 4×400 T54-55.
Christie, who hails from Newcastle NSW, went on to compete at the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics, winning silver in Beijing in the women’s 4x100m T53-T54.
The Paralympian gave birth to her son in early 2011 and later that year underwent surgery that resulted in complications, forcing her off the track for eight months. She returned to training two months before the London 2012 Paralympics where she went on to claim her first individual Paralympic medal – bronze in the women’s 5000 T54.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympics, Christie’s sixth Games, she won silver alongside fellow NSWIS athlete Madison de Rozario in the women’s 4x400m T53-54. She also competed in the marathon event in Rio where she finished in sixth place.
Christie has competed in marathons all around the world and has had top five finishes in Berlin and Boston. She placed third in the New York Marathon in 2008 and second in the Chicago Marathon in 2011.
Christie will return to the Paralympic arena at Tokyo 2020, her seventh Paralympic Games, where she will focus primarily on the women’s marathon event.