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Snow­boarder Joany Baden­horst was in­volved in a se­vere trac­tor ac­ci­dent when she was young and lost her left leg as a re­sult. She had al­ways been a suc­cess­ful ath­lete and set her sights on com­pet­ing at the Lon­don 2012 Par­a­lympic Games in track and field. Af­ter nar­rowly miss­ing out, Joany moved on to a para-snow­board­ing pro­gram ahead of the Sochi 2014 Win­ter Games.

Joany was set to be­come the first Aus­tralian woman to compete in the sport on the world’s big­gest stage. But just hours be­fore her first race, she crashed on a fi­nal train­ing run, break­ing her patella, dis­lo­cat­ing her knee and col­laps­ing her hip.

De­spite all those set­backs, Joany stuck with it and is head­ing off to Korea to compete in the Win­ter Par­a­lympics. We caught up with her just be­fore she left...

GF: How does it feel to be rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia at the Win­ter Par­a­lympics?

J: I think it’s ev­ery lit­tle girl’s dream to be the very best in some­thing she loves. The fact that I can do that at the 2018 Win­ter Par­a­lympics and rep­re­sent my coun­try on the high­est sport plat­form is more than I ever could have wished for.

GF: You’ve over­come so many chal­lenges. How did you use that to help you suc­ceed?

J: With­out those ob­sta­cles and experiencing the low­est of the lows, I would have never been able to ap­pre­ci­ate how rare and in­cred­i­ble it is to reach a high. It mo­ti­vated me to push my­self, test my bound­aries and work hard to make sure I reach my full po­ten­tial.

GF: What ad­vice would you give to a teen who was hop­ing to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in a fu­ture Par­a­lympics?

J: Never give up and em­brace your fail­ures. With­out fail­ure there can be no suc­cess, and in­stead of let­ting those ob­sta­cles keep you from your dream – use it as a step­ping stone to your dream. You can do it and you de­serve it.

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