Michael Milton was inducted into the Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame
last night in recognition of his Paralympic career, spanning over two
The six-time Paralympian wasn't able attend the presentation but his
long-time ski coach and friend, Steve Graham, accepted the award on his
"We watched the livestream and, as much as I would have loved to be
there, this honour is as much Steve's as mine anyway," said Michael from
his Canberra home where he is in isolation with his family after they all
Michael is a legend in alpine skiing circles all over the world. He
competed in five winter Paralympic Games between 1988 - when he debuted
in his first international competition at just 14 years - and 2006,
collecting six gold, three silver and two bronze medals to become
Australia's greatest Paralympic winter athlete. In world chamionship
competition, he won eleven medals - again, six of them gold.
Retiring from competitive skiing after the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games,
he turned his sights on cycling and became one a a handful of athletes to
compete at both a Winter and Summer Paralympic Games. In Beijing in 2008,
he reprented Australia in the individual pursuit and the xxxx and
finsihed in the top ten in thre ccccc
Steve read a speech prepared by Michael in which he called out the lack
of free-to-air coverage for the Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing
earlier this year and thanked the Paralympic skiers who came before him,
competing on the world stage against the odds and with little or no
funding. He reminded current athletes to be grateful: "You stand on the
shoulders of giants".
Michael was one of five new inductees to the Paralympics Australia Hall
of Fame. The others were:
Nine-time gold medallist in shooting Libby Kosmala, who competed
at a record 12 Paralympic Games between 1972 and 2016;
Thirteen-time Paralympic medallist Kurt Fearnley, who competed in
wheelchair racing at five Paralympic Games between 2000 and 2016;
Three-time Paralympian and nine-time gold medal-winning swimmer Priya
Swimmer Matthew Cowdrey who, with 13 Paralympic gold medals and 23
medals, is Australia's all-time leading Paralympic Games medal winner.
They join nine other members including Louise Sauvage and sport
administrators Adrienne Smith and Ron Finneran, both key figures in
Michael's on-snow career.
"Adrienne was CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee in my early
years as a ski racer. She once mortgaged her house so the team could
compete in the Winter Paralympic Games. Ron Finneran was a ski racer
himself and, as long-time head of Disabled WinterSport, has been there
throughout my career. Passionate people like them toil for decades to see
athletes like me succeed and that's why it's so important that our winter
team's performances are not just rewarded but also seen.
"I want to watch snowboarder Ben Tudhope - incidentally 2022 Paralympian
of the Year - win a golhd medal at the 2026 Winter Paralympic Games in
Italy. I think everyone wants to see that, live and free-to-air."