GO FOR GOLD
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.