Wikinews interviews Australian disability standing skier Jonty O'Callaghan

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wikinews reporter LauraHale interviews Australian Paralympic skier Jonty O'Callaghan

Recently, Wikinews spent time with with Australian Paralympic skier Jonty O'Clallaghan who was in Copper Mountain, Colorado for the IPC Nor-Am Cup.

((Wikinews)) I'm interviewing Jonty O'Callaghan, one of the Australian skiers with the IPC [International Paralympic Committee] Nor-Am Cup, and you're a fifteen-year-old?

Jonty O'Callaghan: Yup. Yeah, I've been skiing since I was about ten and I really enjoy racing.

((WN)) I talked to your father, he said you're kind of thinking Sochi?

Jonty O'Callaghan: It's the matter of if I qualify by getting enough good races and points.

((WN)) How do you balance skiing with doing school?

Jonty O'Callaghan: Over the past few years in Australia I've been doing full time in tenth grade in the Australian winter, which means the school at the mountain brings up my work from my home school in Melbourne to do up at the mountain when I'm not skiing.

((WN)) Since you're not on the development team, do you get enough support or your parents are supporting this?

Jonty O'Callaghan: Yeah, my parents support me all the way. I've never doubted their support always though the journeys and I [thank them] for their support throughout and continuing through my journeys.

((WN)) What classification are you?

Jonty O'Callaghan: I am LW9-1.

((WN)) What does that mean for people who know nothing about classification?

Jonty O'Callaghan: I basically have a disability on the right side of my body.

((WN)) Yep.

Jonty O'Callaghan: which weakens two of my limbs and which means I favor my left side a lot more.

((WN)) Did you have that from birth?

Jonty O'Callaghan: Yeah, it was caused by premature birth.

((WN)) Do you do any other sports anything other than skiing or are you one of those Australian ski bunnies?

Jonty O'Callaghan: I've done a lot of sports doing my journey, I've always played cricket, Australian football, played a little tennis, and I like golf too as a hobby.

((WN)) Are you going to and be one of those dual Paralympians for Winter and Summer?

Jonty O'Callaghan: No, because I don't think any other sports I like are in the Summer Olympics. I think I'll pursue them after I finished my skiing career, because cricket you can do when you're much older.

((WN)) Is there anything else people should know about you?

Jonty O'Callaghan: Yeah, I'm just looking forward to the future and hoping for the best and maybe some medals.

((WN)) Okay cool, thank you very much.

Jonty O'Callaghan at Solitude Station on Copper Mountain
Image: Bidgee.
Jonty O'Callaghan at an awards ceremony IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: LauraHale.
Jonty O'Callaghan competing in the slalom during the last day of the IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: Bidgee.
Australian Paralympic skier Jonty O'Callaghan in his first run earlier today
Image: LauraHale.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.