Australia at the Madrid Paralympic Games 1992

Before, during and immediately after the 1992 Madrid Games, the then Australian Paralympic Federation (APF) considered all competitors with an intellectual disability to be part of the official 1992 Australian Paralympic Team. The Team was financially supported by the APF, its members wore the same uniforms as those in the Barcelona Team and participated in the same welcome home celebrations on return to Australia. The Team was led by Chef de Mission Marie Little, who at that time was a Board member of the APF. When the Queen’s Birthday Awards were announced in 1993, the successes of athletes with an intellectual disability were acknowledged by OAMs with the dedication ‘for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Paralympic Games, Madrid, 1992’. However, as a consequence of the decision of the International Paralympic Committee to not recognise the Madrid athletes as Paralympians, Paralympics Australia does not currently officially acknowledge them.

The Australian team of 51 athletes competed in four of the five sports, the exception being table tennis. The women’s basketball team won its tournament, the first ever medal by an Australian basketball team at the Olympics or Paralympics, and Australians dominated in the pool. In total, Australia won 13 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze medals, placing it at the top of the medal tally. Swimmer Joseph Walker won an astonishing nine gold medals from nine events to become the greatest ever Australian medal winner at a single Paralympic Games. Other multiple medal winners included swimmers Joshua Hofer, Rene Hardenbol and Anton Flavel in athletics.

Australia placed at the top of the medal tally at the Madrid Paralympic Games for athletes with an intellectual disability.