Our Best Medal Hopes At The London Paralympics

The Paralympics have always been given a raw deal. Tacked on to the end of the Olympics as if it were an afterthought, it was like trying to keep your night alive by carrying on at an inner-city day club. No matter how many blue Powerades you down, no matter how many life affirming decisions you make, that sinking feeling drops, the self loathing sets in and you yell at your friends to get the fuck out of the way because you’re going to spew! Thankfully, this edition of the Paralympics games has been given the night out it deserves. Refreshed, sports fans from around the world can finally give these athletes the credit and attention they deserve. As the 80 000 people at the the Opening ceremony can attest, London is ready to be shaken from its hazy post-Olympics comedown. Even better, Australia enters the games with a genuine chance of being that medal hoarding power that we so desperately crave.

Here are some of our medal favourites.

This dude can swim. Already a duel game vet with more bling than you could poke a southern rapper at , the 23 year old is only two gold medals shy of equaling Tim Sullivan’s Australian record of 10 gold. Considering Cowdrey is heavily favoured in his six events this time round, I’d imagine the Champagne is already on ice.

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So the Summer Olympics are pretty rad. So much sport and so much variety but you can’t exactly call many of the sports on offer badass. Wheelchair Rugby is totally badass. Take opposing teams of hulking dudes in modified wheelchairs and add high speed collisions. Part demolition derby part basketball/handball, these guys (and girls) are the cowboys of the Paralympian movement and coming off a silver in Beijing, the Australian team are genuine medal contenders. Led by Australian flag bearer and five time Paralympian Greg Smith, and the Steelers resident enforcer Ryley Batt, The Steelers have their best chance yet of knocking off Team USA.

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Considering this guy crawled the entire Kokota track – for fun!? – rolling around a track in a wheelchair seems like a pretty by the numbers endeavour. Not even a flat tire could derail his maiden gold in the Marathon at Athens 2004 (Could you imaging Usain Bolt winning the 100m with one shoe?). Favoured for medals in a string of track events, the real jewel in the crown would be a victory in the Marathon where he will go head to head with long time rival and home town favourite David Weir.

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As is the recuring theme, Jessica is a bit of an overachiever. As Australia’s first medal winner at the Paralympic Winter games, claiming bronze in the women’s vision-impaired slalom, Gallager is debuting at the the Summer edition in Javelin and Long Jump. Having secured a silver and a bronze at the 2010 PC Athletics World Championships, Jessica presents another strong chance for medal glory.

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Bring it!