Australian gold medalist Simon Patmore pays tribute to injured Joany Badenhorst after victory

CRUEL BLOW: Joany Badenhorst suffered an injury prior to the Games, ruling her out of contention. Photo: AUSTRALIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
CRUEL BLOW: Joany Badenhorst suffered an injury prior to the Games, ruling her out of contention. Photo: AUSTRALIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE

After becoming Australia’s first Winter Paralympic Games gold medalist in 16 years, you could have forgiven Simon Patmore for focusing on himself for a while.

But that wasn’t the case, as he immediately paid tribute to Australian team co-captain and former Dubbo Christian College student Joany Badenhorst.

Badenhorst, who lived in Dubbo for a number of years, was Australia’s flagbearer at the opening ceremony and one of the country’s major medal hopes going into the Games.

However, a knee injury suffered in training ruled her out of competition and had many worrying Australia would go through the Games without winning a medal without the world champion in action.

But Patmore rose to the occasion and won the snowboard cross in PyeongChang.

"We're a team, the Australian team, whether it's alpine or snowboard and hearing one of our team go down like that is heartbreaking," Patmore said of Badenhorst after his win.

"What she wanted for us though was to go out and do something amazing like this."

Badenhorst released an emotional video on the weekend, less than 48 hours after leading her country into the stadium during the opening ceremony, following the injury.

“I’m completely heartbroken and devastated but it’s important we refocus … I’ll be in the stands rallying as much support as I can,” she said.

The 30-year-old Patmore also became the first Australian man to win medals at both a Winter and Summer Paralympics having won bronze in athletics at London 2012.

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