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TAIT Sam
Sport Para alpine skiing
NPC Australia   
GenderMen
Age27
Place of BirthSydney, AUS
Height1.76 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW11
Further Personal Information
Residence
Mittagong, NSW, AUS
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Draughting - Granville TAFE College: Australia
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He was a keen skier prior to his accident in 2013. He took up Para skiing four months after the accident in Thredbo, NSW, Australia, and began to ski more regularly when his parents bought a ski lodge in the Perisher Valley, NSW, Australia, in 2014. "I needed something to take my mind off my accident and I needed to set a goal in my life to help me move on and accept what had happened. I decided early on that I was going to ski again. I saw videos of sit-skiers on YouTube when I was in hospital and I said to my parents, 'I'm going to do that. I'm going to go to the Paralympics.'"
Why this sport?
"I tell everyone I meet, if you get the chance to jump in a sit-ski, definitely give it a go. I wouldn't go back to stand-up skiing now that I've tried it. You are a lot closer to the ground, so you feel the hill more. The adrenaline when you are skiing a downhill run and the emotions when you finish are crazy. I've clocked speeds up to 120 kilometres per hour. And when you're on snow, it doesn't feel like you're disabled."
Name of coach
Chris McKnight [national]
Senior International Debut
Year
2016
Competing for
Australia
Location
Landgraaf, NED
General Interest
Hobbies
CrossFit, kayaking, playing cards, watching football, watching television. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017; Athlete, 20 Jun 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Being a member of the Australian national development team, and competing at the 2017 Europa Cup event in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017; Athlete, 20 Jun 2016)
Most influential person in career
Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley. (Athlete, 20 Jun 2016)
Hero / Idol
Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Injuries
He suffered a partial dislocation of his left shoulder in 2016. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Why worry? If you have done the very best you can, worrying won't make it any better." (Athlete, 20 Jun 2016)
Other sports
He has achieved a top 10 ranking in the adaptive division of the International CrossFit Games. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (mountainwatch.com, 09 Mar 2018)
Impairment
He has paraplegia as the result of a motorcycle accident in 2013 in Wollongong, NSW, Australia. "I was riding with three of my mates in the afternoon. I don't remember everything, but I've been told we were riding around a corner and the bike just slid out. I hit a car, and was airlifted to hospital in Sydney. The night that it happened, the doctors knew straight away that I wasn't going to walk again." (Athlete, 20 Jun 2016; shieldandheart.org.au, 20 Nov 2014; YouTube, 02 Jul 2014)
Other information
UNIVERSITY PROJECT
In 2017 engineering students at the Australian National University [ANU] in Canberra, ACT, Australia, began working on a project to design and manufacture a lower leg protective enclosure for him to use while skiing. The project was undertaken by TechLauncher, an ANU initiative that encourages students to work on real-life projects as part of their course requirements. (cecs.anu.edu.au, 07 Aug 2017)

OTHER STUDIES
He has undertaken an apprenticeship as an electrician in Australia. (Facebook profile, 28 Sep 2017)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
11 2018 Downhill - Sitting 1:28.56
  2018 Super-G - Sitting  DNF
  2018 Super Combined - Sitting  DNF
17 2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:28.28
  2018 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
10 2018/2019 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:21.26
6 2018/2019 Downhill - Sitting 1:02.50
  2018/2019 Super Combined - Sitting  DNF
  2018/2019 Super-G - Sitting  DNF
World Cup Final
Rank Year Event Result
13 2017/2018 Downhill - Sitting 1:21.97
10 2017/2018 Downhill - Sitting 1:17.92
  2017/2018 Super-G - Sitting  DNF
  2017/2018 Super-G - Sitting  DNF