Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008
Oprah Winfrey and mother Roslyn
Bronze in 1999 Open Women Peachtree 10km Road race, 5th in 2003 Open Women’s Boston Marathon, 5th in 2003 Open Women’s Berlin Marathon
Christie Dawes suffered a devastating campaign at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games but that doesn’t stop this primary school teacher and budding property developer from training several hours a day to compete in the sport she loves.
The Beijing Games saw Christie involved in what was described as a smash up derby. Six wheelchair racers were involved in a crash 500m from the finish line in the 5000m. While some were badly injured, Christie escaped unscathed. A re-race was called and Christie finished sixth. All was not lost however as she won a silver medal as part of the 4x100m relay team. Coming away with a silver medal at her fourth Paralympic Games was one of the greatest sporting moments of Christie’s life. Finishing third in the New York marathon – just months after the Games – was also very special for her.
A car accident in 1990 left Christie a paraplegic, but she refused to allow the accident get in the way of her life. Christie’s passion and continued hard work has paid off with several commendable results. After giving birth to a baby boy in February 2011, Christie returned in stellar shape. Already back in competitive action by April 2011, she won three bronze medals at the 2011 National Titles before registering impressive performances in the USA – she claimed a silver medal at the Chicago Marathon and placed fourth in the New York marathon.
Throughout Christie’s career she has achieved countless successes and accolades. Being named the Young Paralympian of the Year in 1996 was a particularly significant moment for the sportswoman. She is the current Australian record holder in the 1500m and 5000m, substantially beating the personal best times of past Paralympic great Louise Sauvage. With her coach and husband Andrew Dawes, Christie is currently renovating and raising her son while training hard for Paralympic Games number five.