Original Article Advocate Winter Issue 2021 (view here)
The Tokyo Paralympics are set to commence on 24 August 2021. Thanks to COVID-19 they’re a year late
and, as we go to print, still not 100% locked in. But whatever happens, we wanted to pay tribute to the
extraordinary effort of athletes, past and present, who have worked so hard to represent Australia at
One such athlete is wheelchair rugby legend, Ryan Scott, OAM, who played international wheelchair
rugby for 17 years before his retirement in 2018. Ryan took up the sport in 1998, as part of his
rehabilitation after he became a quadriplegic following a car crash when he was 16. He excelled at the
game and made his debut for the national team, the Australian Steelers, in 2001.
Just three years later he was on his way to his first Paralympics, in Athens. Four years after that he was
part of the team that won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. Four years after that, at the London
Games in 2012, he co-captained the Steelers to their first gold medal. And then in 2016, at the Rio
Paralympics, the Aussies won gold again after defeating longtime rivals, the United States by just one
point. The game was a double-overtime thriller for the ages.