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Winter Paralympics campaign lays new foundation

15 March 2022

The AIS has commended retiring Paralympians Melissa Perrine and Mitchell Gourley as Australia’s 2022 Winter Paralympics campaign laid the foundation for the next generation of athletes.

Perrine and Gourley both announced their retirements having both competed a four Paralympic Games and each becoming world champions in their own fields.

AIS Director Matti Clements said: “It was fantastic to see snowboarder Ben Tudhope claim a bronze medal, equally the team spirit and humility shown by this small group of nine athletes was something to be proud of.

“That is a legacy we can be confident will continue. Athletes like Melissa and Mitch have been great leaders on this team for over a decade and we’re lucky to have someone with the experience and passion of Mitch directly engaged with our AIS Athlete Advisory Committee.”

Two-time Paralympic bronze medallist and four-time world champion Perrine said: “I want everyone to come after me knowing that this is the best sport in the world, that if you have passion, if you have love for this, you’ll be successful, regardless of your position.”

It was a challenging campaign for Australia’s Paralympic squad, co-captain and closing ceremony flag-bearer Tudhope claiming Australia’s sole medal, bronze in the Snowboard. But Tudhope, who has already competed at three Paralympic Games, is still only 22, while Rae Anderson and Josh Hanlon each made their Paralympic debuts.

Anderson became one of the few Australians to compete at both a Summer and Winter Paralympics, having earlier competed at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Her best result was seventh in the Women’s standing Slalom and 10th in the Giant Slalom. Hanlon’s best result was sixth in the Slalom.

Patrick Jensen and his sighted guide Amelia Hodgson delivered solid performances in the Men’s Super G and Slalom finishing in sixth place and eighth place in the downhill.

Clements said: “The AIS has been proud to support this team through funding and investment, innovation and technology, medicine and sport science, wellbeing and community engagement, and coaching and leadership.”

Australia's Winter Paralympics co-captain and Bronze Medalist Ben Tudhope.
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