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12939-Mark Soyer photo

Mark Soyer

Alpine Skiing

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW11

Further personal information

Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up sit-skiing during rehabilitation after his accident in 2004. He also began playing wheelchair tennis, rugby and basketball at the same time.
Why this sport?
"The best thing about skiing is the fact that my disability has little impact on the sport. None of them [other sports] really excited me because you want to be back doing everything you were doing before, as equals. When you're skiing it doesn't make a difference if you have a disability. It is great. I picked it up reasonably fast. I mean, I could make my way down a hill without killing myself or anybody else."

International debut

Year
2007
Competing for
Australia
Tournament
North-American Championship
Location
Copper Mountain, CO, USA

General interest

Hobbies
Listening to music, mountain biking, kayaking, watching Grand Prix motorcycle racing. (Facebook page, 07 Aug 2020; paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the world championships in 2015 and 2017. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Hero / Idol
US musician Dave Grohl. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Injuries
He dislocated his shoulder, fractured his collarbone and broke 12 ribs after falling at the 2017 World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. He underwent surgery and was sidelined for five months. (Mark's hopes for the Slopes Facebook event, 02 Oct 2017; paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"It’s only your own ability that stops you. You pretty much lose your disability when you get in your sit ski." (skyhidailynews.com, 17 Feb 2015)
Awards and honours
In 2016 he was named Disabled Wintersport Australia's inaugural Simon Lo Schiavo Volunteer of the Year. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)

He was the Australian flag bearer at the 2015 World Championships in Panorama, BC, Canada. (riverineherald.com.au, 09 Sep 2017)
Impairment
In late 2004 he was working on the family farm in Chesney Vale, VIC, Australia, when the motorcycle he was riding hit a log concealed in the grass. He fell and severed his spinal cord, resulting in paraplegia. He was in hospital for five months. (abc.net.au, 04 May 2016; heraldsun.com.au, 13 Aug 2007)
Other information
OCCUPATION
He has worked as a jeweller, having completed a three-year degree in gemmology at the Gemmological Association of Australia in 2001. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)

CHILDHOOD ILLNESS
At age three he was diagnosed with leukaemia and given a 40% chance of survival. After a three-year battle he was declared to be in remission. He relapsed at age eight, and recovered a second time. (sheppadviser.com.au, 08 Oct 2014)

VOLUNTEERING
He has volunteered as a ski guide for Disabled Wintersport Australia, helping to teach people with both physical and mental impairments how to ski. (theage.com.au, 13 May 2012)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships Panorama (Panorama, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2015-03-08 9999
Men's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2015-03-10 9999
2017 IPC Alpine skiing World Championships Tarvisio, ITA (Tarvisio, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2017-01-25 9999
Men's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2017-01-26 17
Men's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2017-01-28 9999
Men's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-30 13
Men's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-31 13
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Downhill Sitting Final 2018-03-10 9999
Men's Super-G Sitting Final 2018-03-11 16
Men's Super Combined Sitting Final 2018-03-13 9999
Men's Giant Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-14 18
Men's Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-17 9999