South African Parlaympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius
Australian records in the T44 100m and F44 high jump and javelin
Originally from South Africa, Joany Badenhorst was involved in a severe tractor accident in 2005. While playing with a group of friends on her parents’ farm, a group of labourers were busy with a tractor, clearing firebreaks. Joany’s pants were caught in the power take-off shaft of the tractor, amputating her left leg below the knee. Unbelievably, the man driving the tractor died in the same vehicle one month later due to a bushfire.
Prior to the accident, Joany was already a successful athlete and had won provincial colours in high jump and modern dance. Since moving to Australia with her family and setting up home in Griffith, Joany was first identified as a track and field athlete with serious potential and she set her sights on the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
However, after just missing out on selection for the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team and with ongoing injuries to her amputated leg, she was approached by the Australian Paralympic Committee to transfer to its new Para-snowboard program ahead of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.
With Para-snowboarding making its debut on the Paralympic program for the first time in 2014, Joany was set to become the first female from Australia to compete in the sport on the world’s biggest stage. But just hours before she was due to race, Joany crashed on a final training run and dislocated her knee. She knew instantly that she would not compete in Sochi, and immediately shifted her focus to competing in PyeongChang in 2018.
Away from the snow fields, Joany is exceptionally talented at painting. She specialises in sketching portraits and city scapes, offering her a getaway from the hectic nature of life as a Paralympic athlete. Her favourite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean and she is known to enjoy episodes of television series’ Modern Family and Big Bang Theory.