17890-Rosemary Little photo

Rosemary Little



Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
T33, F32

Further personal information

Sydney, NSW, AUS
Athlete, Student
Higher education
Occupational Therapy - The University of Sydney: Australia

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para athletics when she attended a Wheelchair Sports New South Wales 'Come and Try' day in 2003 and then began competing in wheelchair racing. She went on to compete in wheelchair racing at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games, before switching to shot put in 2018.
Why this sport?
After she competed in wheelchair racing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she switched to shot put when doctors diagnosed her with a rare spinal tumour and her wheelchair classification was changed.
Club / Team
Hills District Athletics Club: Castle Hill, ACT, AUS
Name of coach
Karyne Di Marco; Breanne Clement

International debut

Competing for

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in shot put at the 2019 Arafura Games in Darwin, NT, Australia. (, 29 Apr 2019)
Other sports
She has represented Australia in handcycling at international level and competed in Para rowing at national level. (, 01 Jan 2016;, 01 Jan 2015)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 05 Jun 2021)
At age 12 she contracted a form of the brain virus autoimmune encephalitis, which resulted in spontaneous quadriplegia and uncontrollable muscle contractures. She had to relearn all of her skills and has no memory of her life from age 12 to 18. (, 01 Jan 2016)
Other information
After suffering from bouts of pneumonia that affected her performances at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she was admitted to hospital, where doctors discovered a rare spinal tumour. "I spent a year in hospital and rehab and couldn't even feed myself for the first eight months. I was either going to die or be on a ventilator for the rest of my life. I knew there was something wrong before and during Rio. I had quite a bad start in the 100m and wasn't performing that well." After her time in hospital her classification code was changed and she decided to switch from competing in wheelchair racing to shot put. "I'm tall, 6ft 2in, so I'm good at a lot of sports. I'm also a firm believer in perseverance. My doctors say, if I wasn't so stubborn, I wouldn't be here. The doctors' predictions for most of my life haven't been very positive but I've surpassed all their expectations and mine." (, 29 Apr 2019)

Following her failure to qualify for the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens and a bout of illness, she took a hiatus from the sport and did not return to it until the end of 2011. (, 01 Jan 2017)

She has studied speech and audiology at Macquarie University in Sydney, NSW, Australia. (Facebook profile, 05 Jan 2017)


Unit Date Rank
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T34 Heat 2 2012-08-31 3
Women's 100 m T34 Final Round 2012-08-31 3
Women's 200 m T34 Heat 1 2012-09-06 1
Women's 200 m T34 Final Round 2012-09-06 4
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T34 Final 1 2013-07-20 2
Women's 100 m T34 Final 1 2013-07-22 3
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T34 Final 1 2015-10-22 9999
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T34 Final Round 2016-09-10 5
Women's 400 m T34 Final Round 2016-09-14 4
Women's 800 m T34 Final Round 2016-09-16 4