Western Australian sailing athletes Colin Harrison and
Russell Boaden have been selected in the Australian Paralympic Team for the
2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Harrison and Boaden, along with New South Welshman
Jonathon Harris will compete for Australia in the three-person Sonar class, as
sailing makes its curtain call on the Paralympic sports roster in Brazil.
Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Chief Executive
Lynne Anderson said that despite the disappointment of sailing’s exclusion
beyond Rio, the 2016 Australian Paralympic Sailing Team will do their sport and
their nation proud.
"The Australian Paralympic Sailing Team is world class
across all three boat classes, and I have no doubt they will pushing hard to
build on the success they have achieved in recent years,” said Anderson.
"While we’re still devastated that there’s a chance it
will be the last time these sailors will compete for Australia at a Paralympic
Games, we know this team will use this as an opportunity to sail a great
regatta and confirm their reputation as world leaders.”
Harrison will lead the Sonar Team as skipper, bringing
with him a wealth of experience, having competed at the Athens 2004, Beijing
2008 and London 2012 Paralympics, which included a bronze medal success in
Boaden is heading to a second Paralympics having returned
to sport, after taking a break post Beijing – where he was a member of the same
bronze medal winning crew as Harrison.
Outside of sailing, Harrison works as Medical Imaging
Technologist and took up the sport following a holiday camp in North Wales as a
Several years later, Harrison discovered he had cancer in
his shoulder, which led to his right arm being amputated. He initially gave up
sailing, before rekindling his passion for the sport, which eventually led to a
first representative opportunity for Australia in 2002.
A motorcycle accident as a 22 year-old left Boaden with
damage to his brachial plexus – a network of nerves running from the spine. Now
46, Boaden works as a chef when he’s not sailing, and maintains a quirky
superstition of wearing a knee brace at competitions, despite not needing its
The sailing selections bring WA’s officially selected
Paralympic numbers to six, with the selection of the Australian men’s
wheelchair basketball team set to increase numbers further on Tuesday of next