Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012
Wheelchair racer Heinz Frei, Pat Rafter, Ian Thorpe, Tim Clarke
Gold at Athens 2004 and gold at London 2012
Winning gold in 800m at Athens 2004
Born with spina bifida, Richard Colman has always wanted to do the very best in everything he sets out to achieve. It turns out his very best is world beating and the track specialist has spearheaded the Australian athletics team for the past ten years.
In 2004 at the Athens Games, Richard took home the gold medal for Australia in the T53 800m as well as breaking the Paralympic record. His stellar Paralympic performances also include a silver medal in the 4x100m relay, which at the time saw Richard rise to the number one ranking in the world.
In Beijing, he won a silver medal in the 200m and a bronze medal in the 400m, which was just 0.6 seconds outside world record time. Although these medals didn’t top the gold he won in Athens, competing in front of the huge Beijing crowds is among the highlights of his sporting career.
Richard warmed up for London 2012 by winning gold in the 800m at the 2011 IPC World Championships and silver in the 400m. He also dominated the field at the 2011 IUF National Championships, where he won three gold and one silver medal. In London, Richard returned to his career best form and won gold in the 800m as well as bronze in the 400m and 4x400m relay.
Born in Norway but having moved to Australia at a young age, Richard is passionate about all sports including AFL, basketball and swimming. He was the first wheelchair AFL goal umpire in the Geelong League and is described by friends as strong-willed and positive in everything he undertakes.
Citing his coach Mandi Cole as the most influential person in his career, the OAM recipient has changed his focus to longer distances. Having dominated in the sprints and with his muscles now maturing and better suited to distance events, Richard will now focus on the marathon.