1976
Our stories

196 athletes from 16 countries competed in the first winter Paralympics in Örnsköldsvik. Australia’s only participant was Ron Finneran.

Australia at the Örnsköldsvik Winter Paralympics 1976

Australia at the Örnsköldsvik Winter Paralympics 1976

"By all means put your name down."

Ron Finneran talks about the very informal selection process for the 1976 winter Paralympics.

Ron Finneran talks about the very informal selection process for the 1976 winter Paralympics.

Ron Finneran carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony of the first winter Paralympics

Ron Finneran carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony of the first winter Paralympics

"I was told: 'You're not going anywhere boyo.'"

Ron Finneran on his response when told he couldn’t compete in Ornskoldsvik.

Ron Finneran on his response when told he couldn’t compete in Ornskoldsvik.
1980

An historic moment, full of anticipation

An historic moment, full of anticipation

A contrast for Finneran, who was alone four years before

A contrast for Finneran, who was alone four years before

"I just put my name down as a manager or whatever you call it."

Ron Finneran talks about the role of Chef de Mission

Ron Finneran talks about the role of Chef de Mission
Geilo 1980 Winter Paralympics - Kjell Blomgvist, Kyrra Grunnsund and Ron Finneran

Time for a photo before Grunnsund starts his alpine events

Time for a photo before Grunnsund starts his alpine events
1984
1984 Innsbruck Winter Games Australian Team and coach L-R: Ron Finneran (head of delegation), Rodney Mill, Mill's guide, James Milner (coach), Kyrra Grunnsund, Andrew Temple, Bruce Abele (coach, front).

Australian Team, Innsbruck Winter Games

Australian Team, Innsbruck Winter Games
Australian Team leader Ron Finneran at the 1984 Innsbruck Winter Paralympics

GALLERY: Portraits of the Australian Team

GALLERY: Portraits of the Australian Team
1988

Not just sport, there were other stories as well

Not just sport, there were other stories as well
1990

The foundation of the Australian Paralympic Federation

The foundation of the Australian Paralympic Federation
1992
1992 Albertville Paralympic Winter Games, Australian Team

Australian Team, Albertville Winter Paralympics

Australian Team, Albertville Winter Paralympics
1992 Albertville Paralympic Winter Games, Australian athlete Rod Hacon and his family in front of the Paralympic Cauldron

Rod Hacon’s family came to cheer him on

Rod Hacon’s family came to cheer him on
1993

The Sydney bid process was politically difficult

The Sydney bid process was politically difficult

The 1993 APF annual report hinted at the stress of the previous 18 months

The 1993 APF annual report hinted at the stress of the previous 18 months
On 12 September 1993, the bidding nations for the 2000 summer Paralypics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia was represented in berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

"They will underwrite the Sydney 2000 Games."

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.
1994
1994 Lillehammer Winter Games, Australian team: Graham, Howerlls, Hacon, Dean, Milton, Paterson, Wyndham, Sheperd, Mance, Norton, MunkBAck L-R: Eddie Jesiolowski, Steve Graham, David Howells, Nick Dean, Fiona Mance, Michael Milton, James Patterson. Middle (l) Ron Finneran Front L-R: Alan Dean, Michael Norton, David Munk, Rod Hacon, Craig Wyndham

All dressed up and an opening ceremony to attend

All dressed up and an opening ceremony to attend