Sam McIntosh

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination

Personal Details

Home town:

Drysdale, VIC

Occupation / Area of Study / Work:


Date of birth:

July 13, 1990

Sporting Details

Event(s) / Discipline:



Fred Periac




Physical Impairment – Quadriplegia

Olympic / Paralympic History:

London 2012 Paralympic Games - 100m, 200m 

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games - 4th 

World Championships History:

2011 World Para Championships - 5th 

2015 World Para Championships - 5th 

London 2017 World Para Championships - 100m - 6th | 18.69 / 400m - 12th 

Dubai 2019 World Para Championships - 6th | 17.69 sec 

Sporting Highlights:

Returning from injury to compete in the men’s 100m T52 at London 2012

Life changed dramatically for BMX rider Sam McIntosh when he broke his neck casing the landing of a “pretty unspectacular” jump while holidaying with his family in 2007.

Then, after a chance encounter with the mum of four-time Paralympian Richard Colman, Sam’s life took another unexpected turn. Although neither of them knew it at the time, Sam would go on to represent Australia in Para-athletics at two Paralympic Games and three World Championships – but not before a second broken neck threatened to end his career before it had really begun.

Nearly a year to the day after Sam made his international debut at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, he was celebrating the 2012 New Year with his mates when his wheelchair flipped backwards and he fractured his C7 vertebrae. It was three months before he returned to training, and with even less movement in his neck than he had before, Sam was in a race against time to achieve selection to the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team.

However, in complete and utter defiance of the odds, Sam competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Although he did not achieve the results that he was hoping for, to be there at all was a massive accomplishment and one that he is immensely proud of.

Sam returned to the Paralympic spotlight four years later for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where he placed fourth in the men’s 100m T52. With just 0.44 seconds standing between him and a place on the podium, Sam was on the verge of winning his first major international medal. His next opportunity will be the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in August.

Credit: Paralympics Australia 

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