Australia finished the games with a rush of bronze medals in the last couple of days of the Sochi Winter Paralympics.
Toby Kane took out the Bronze medal in the 'Super Combined' event.
Bronze Medal to Jess Gallagher in the giant slalom event.
Mitchell Gourley, a left arm below elbow amputee, put in some great performances and was unlucky to miss out on a medal finishing 5th in the Men's Super Combined - just 0.24 seconds behind team mate Toby Kane.
For three of the Australian athletes Cameron Rahels-Rahbula, Melissa Perrin and Joany Badenhurst, the games were a bit heartbreaking, with injuries, illness, difficult weather conditions creating a few setbacks and close calls. They did their country proud in the way that they handled themselves.
Opening ceremony flag bearer Cameron Rahles-Rabula was ruled out of the games with injuries he sustained in a training run just days before the start of the. The 2014 Games were Cameron's last games after announcing his retirement.
First time Paralympian Joany Badenhaust in the snowboard event, dislocated her knee in a warm up run and was unable to compete.Three first time paralympians, Ben Tudhope, Trent Milton and Victoria Pendergast gained valuable experience and will certainly be ones to watch for future events. With the retirement of two of the team's most experienced athletes, Toby Kane and Cameron Rahles-Rahbula we'll be looking to the younger generation to lead the way at the 2018 Games in South Korea.
In recognition of his contribution to the Paralympic movement, Toby Kane was presented the prestigious International Paralympic Committee Whag Yon Dai achievement award at the closing ceremony in front of more than 40,000 people and a global television audience. This award is presented to a male and female athlete at the summer and winter Paralympics. This is the first time an Australian Athlete has received the award - congratulation Toby!
Despite several setbacks, the Australian team has continued in their quest for personal bests and medals at the Sochi Paralympic Games.
Wrap up of the latest events
5 Australian have been competing in the Alpine Skiing events in the last couple of days:
- Melissa Perrin (with guide Andrew Bor)
- Jess Gallagher (with guide Christian Geiger)
- Victoria Pedergast
What's coming up tonight:
Two of the Aussie men will be competing tonight in the 'Super G' (the second and final component of the 'Super Combined' event). The event has had to be staged over two days due to the unfavourable weather for the 'Super G' event. The slalom component has been completed with Toby Kane currently in 5th position with Mitchell Gourley in 6th - going to be a bit of friendly competition between the Aussie team mates!
Tonight is also the semi finals for the Ice Sledge Hockey. I am really looking forward to checking out the games tonight on ABC Grandstand live streaming.
Game 1: Russia v Norway
Game 2: USA v Canada
The winners from each match progressing to the Gold Medal match on the weekend.
Later in the week
The Australian Para Snowboarders Ben Tudhope, Joany Badenhorst and Trent Milton will be taking to the snow. We'll also see Mel and Jess competing in their final event- the giant slalom on Sunday.
I'm very excited to be providing regular updates on the Australian Team's performance at the Sochi Paralympic Games. The ABC has been a great supporter of the Paralympic movement and increasing awareness of the achievement of our winter and summer paralympians. So, tune in each night about 5.45pm on ABC Northern Tasmania Drive with Damien Brown to keep up to date with all the news from the Sochi games!
If you'd like to find a bit more about the Sochi Games and the Australian team - head over the Paralympic Hub section on the website to find a range of helpful and interesting resources available on the web.
Melissa Carlton OAM
I'm privileged to be invited to participate and support a range of community groups, clubs and events. These are just some of the stories from these occasions!