Paralympian & World Champion
Louise Sauvage is recognised and acknowledged for her unique athleticism and outstanding success as a wheelchair track and road athlete. She has dominated the sport of wheelchair track racing since her appearance at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games, when as an 18 year old, she commenced her reign as ‘Queen of the Track,’ winning 3 Gold and 1 Silver medal.
Since then, she has broken many World Records in distances from 100m to 5000m and recorded outstanding victories in some of the world’s most prestigious road races including the Boston, Los Angeles, Berlin and Honolulu Marathons.
When Louise Sauvage received gold for winning the women’s 800m wheelchair demonstration event in front of 85,000 spectators the at the Atlanta Olympic Games, the Australian Flag was raised in first place in the Main Stadium for the first and only time. She went on to defend her Olympic Gold medal in front of 110,000 spectators at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and recorded the fastest qualifying time to compete at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games where she won Bronze in the demonstration race.
In 2002 Louise won Silver in her first Commonwealth Games in the 800m womens wheelchair race – the first international able-bodied event to recognise events for elite athletes with a disability with full medal status. She successfully defended five consecutive IAAF World Championship Gold medals in the 800m women’s wheelchair demonstration race, having won in 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2003.
Louise has been awarded an Order of Australia medal (1992), the Australian Sports Medal and Centenary Medal. She has been voted Australian Paralympian of the Year in 1994, ‘96, ‘97 & ’98; 1997 Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year and recognised by the AIS as part of its 21st birthday ‘Dream Team’. The Australian Olympic Committee presented Louise with the 1997 International Olympic Committee Trophy ‘Sport For All’ within Australia.
In 1999 the Minister for the Olympics and Paralympics announced the ‘Louise Sauvage Pathway’ at the Olympic/Paralympic site, a life-time recognition of her contribution to Australian sport.In October 1999 and 2000 she was announced International Female Wheelchair Athlete of the Year. She was also announced Australian Female Athlete of the Year in 1999. In 2000 she accepted her trophy from sporting legend Daley Thompson following her announcement as World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability at the inaugural Laureus Awards hosted by the World Sports Academy. During the same year Louise carried the Olympic Torch across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and lit the Cauldron to signify the start of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
In August 2004 Louise carried the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch through the streets of Sydney and in September that year, lead the Australian Team and carried our nation’s flag at the Opening Ceremony at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games – Louise’s fourth and final Games. She crossed the finish line in the final race of her illustrious career just as she started her international career - in a personal best time.
Louise was fantastic. Her speech was inspirational in the extreme and she was such a wonderful good sport. She brought one of her Gold Medals along and offered to pose for photos and ended up staying right through morning tea posing for photos with delegates...they all thought she was fantastic!
Health Services Union
Congress was a great success and your contribution ensured this. We are very pleased with the response with 1,400 delegates attending the conference over the two days which is a record attendance for the South Australian Division.
Louise Sauvage is an amazing Role Model in any walk of life. A great athlete with determination to achieve.