Shae Graham

Life's not that hard

Personal Details

Home town:

Moonee Ponds, VIC

Occupation / Area of Study / Work:

Librarian

Date of birth:

16 December 1986

Sporting Details

Classification:

2.5

Disability:

Spinal cord injury (car accident)

Olympic / Paralympic History:

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Sporting Highlights:

Librarian by day, wheelchair rugby player by night. Impressive, right? If not, Shae Graham is also the first female athlete to represent Australia in wheelchair rugby. How’s that for wow factor?!

When Shae was 18, she was a backseat passenger in a car crash. Her friend, who was speeding down a quiet residential street in Mackay, QLD, lost control of the wheel and crashed into the side of a house. Shae fractured her spine and pelvis, and suffered a brain injury and ruptured bladder.

Although Shae had been active prior to the accident, she ignored Para-sport for almost a decade, before making and losing a bet with her brother, and giving wheelchair rugby a go. Five years later, she made her international debut at the 2019 Four Nations in Alabama, USA, where she played big minutes for the Australian wheelchair rugby team, the Steelers, and impressed the coaching staff and players alike with a string of strong performances out the gate.

Shae did not taste medal success in Alabama, but gained crucial international experience which will serve her well over the next 12 months in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, where the Steelers are aiming to win their third consecutive Paralympic gold medal. Selection to the 2020 Australian Paralympic Team would be a dream come true for Shae, who set herself a personal goal when she first started playing to reach the Paralympics.

In stark contrast to her skills on the wheelchair rugby court, Shae is also a librarian, and after hanging up her boots, she fantasises about having a bookshop of her very own.

Credit: Paralympics Australia

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