World and paralympic champion, motivational speaker, disability expert, athletics coach
Richard was born in 1984 with Spina Bifida. Richard took to sport at a young age he was involved in many sports before the love of athletics took his full attention.
Richard continues to play wheelchair basketball in the local Geelong league and regularly swims as part of his cross training. Richard started athletics in 1995 quickly developing. He made his first state team in 1996 for the Pacific School Games. Richard has competed regularly since at major national and international level competitions.
Richard first competed for Australia at the 2002 IPC world athletics championships in Lyon France where he came away with a Bronze medal in the T53 400m, two years later Richard won a Gold in the T53 800m and a Silver medal in the 4x100m at his first Paralympic Games in Athens.
In 2006 Richard won a Bronze medal in the T53 800m at the IPC World Athletics Championships in Assen, The Netherlands. In 2008 Richard won a Silver medal in the T53 200m and a Bronze in the T53 400m at the Beijing Paralympic Games.
In early 2009 Richard spent six months travelling Europe competing in a number of countries. During this trip Richard managed to visit thirty-two countries. Richard has now visited sixty countries with the aim of reaching 100.
In 2010 Richard competed at the commonwealth games in Delhi India in the T54 1500 winning a silver medal. In early 2011 Richard won his first IPC World Athletics Championship Gold medal winning the T53 800 and also a silver medal in the T53 400m. Also in 2011 Richard won the T53 400m Gold medal at the IAAF world championships in Deagu South Korea.
During the 2012 London Paralympic Games Richard won a Gold medal in the T53 800m and two Bronze medals in the T53 400 and in the T53/54 4x400 relay.
At the recent IPC World Athletics Championships Richard won a Bronze medal in the T53 400m and also a Bronze medal in the T54 5000m on his first attempt at this distance at a championship. Richard also finished 4th in a tight finish in the T54 1500m.
During 2013 Richard was also nominated for the Athletes with a Disability award at the Victorian Institute of Sport awards of Excellence.
Away from the track Richard is an ambassador for numerous events and foundations.
Richard currently holds a number of Australian and Oceania Records.
Away from the track Richard has completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University and has also completed a number of other qualifications.
Richard became the first person in a wheelchair to umpire an AFL match when he officiated as a goal umpire in the Geelong Football League in 2007.During 2014 Richard became the first person in a wheelchair to travel down the Death Road in Bolivia in his racing wheelchair.
Richard also spends countless hours coaching and mentoring new and developing athletes to help them achieve their dreams whatever that may be. Richard has set himself a number of goals he is slowly working towards not just in the sporting world but in all walks of his life. Richard will continue to try and prove to people that anything is possible if you have a go and to always dream big.
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