The Australian team comprised 134 athletes and 41 staff, and included the first Paralympic Games appearance by the national women’s basketball team. The weight of administrative and organisational demands on the understaffed Australian Paralympic Federation (APF) negatively affected the team in various ways, and financial issues threatened the team’s participation. To help alleviate concerns about fund raising to for a winter and a summer team in the same year, the CEO of the APF, Adrienne Smith, famously mortgaged her house.
The Australian team won 76 medals and placed fifth overall on the medal table. As in past Games, Australia performed most strongly in athletics and swimming, winning all of its medals – with the exception of one weightlifting medal – in these two sports. This was the narrowest spread of medals by an Australian Paralympic Team ever. Contributing to the Team’s strong performance was the introduction of pre-Games camps, special coaching programs and Australian Institute of Sport scholarships. Among many stand-out athletes, these Games saw the emergence of Australian wheelchair racing legend Louise Sauvage.