Australia sent five athletes to the 1992 winter Paralympics, all Alpine Skiers – Kyrra Grunnsund, Rod Hacon, Michael Milton, David Munk and Michael Norton. A sixth athlete, David McPherson, was forced to withdraw from the team prior to the Games due to an accident. The team was supported by coaches Graeme Morris and Dean Sheppard, and, for the first time, by team assistants – Eddie Jesiolowski, David Howells and Alan Dean. Ron Finneran was Chef de Mission and Nick Dean was Assistant Chef de Mission.
The background to the team’s participation was almost as dramatic as its performance at the Games. The newly formed Australian Paralympic Federation had no money and found it difficult to get government or community support for the low profile winter team. The APF’s Executive Officer, Adrienne Smith, mortgaged her house to fund the team’s participation and ensure that the athletes received the technical, media and operational support that they needed to perform. It was a turning point for the Paralympic movement in Australia.
Three of the Australian athletes won a total of four medals, with Michael Milton being Australia’s stand-out athlete. Milton won the Men’s Slalom LW2 event and a silver medal in the Men’s Super-G LW2. He was Australia’s first ever medallist and first ever gold medallist at either a Paralympic Winter Games or Olympic Winter Games. Sit skiers Michael Norton and David Munk won bronze medals in Slalom and Super-G events respectively. Australia placed thirteenth in the overall medal tally for the Games and seventh in the alpine skiing medal tally.
Australia sent five athletes, all Alpine Skiers, to the 1992 Winter Paralympics and came home with its first ever medals.
Date: March 1992