In a historic snowboard cross final at the Winter Paralympic Games, Aussie snowboarder Simon Patmore has taken Gold, ending a 16 year gold drought for the Australian team.
The win was a double win for the Queensland local, who has become the first Australian male athlete to medal at both a Summer and Winter Paralympics. In the London 2012 games, Patmore took athletic bronze in the 200m T46 event.
The undeniably talented athlete was relieved with the win, given a near fall mid way through the race. “(I thought), ‘oh shit’. Sorry. I thought it was over but thank God it was great snow conditions to keep me up,” Patmore said.
Patmore has Erb’s palsy, an injury to the arm’s main nerves which results in paralysis of the arm, and the inclusion of this class in the snowboard program is new to Pyeongchang.
“It’s definitely emotional. I’ve been doing sports for over eight years now. I’ve had the highs and I’ve had the lows but you just keep pushing so you can get those highs again.”
The 30 year old has dedicated the last 3 years to training and preparing for the competition, saying that this victory was even sweeter than competing in London.
“I put my working career on hold. I have a beautiful girlfriend who understands the drive in me – that I really want to succeed in life and set an example for everyone.”