Deahnne McIntyre OAM
Official Ambassador for the 2008 Pacific School Games
Deahnne is a renowned wheelchair athlete who has smashed records in wheelchair racing, swimming and athletic field events. She competed at the 1988 Seoul Paralympics in Track where she scooped the medal pool bringing home 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze. She also broke the 200m world record. At the third Australian Wheelchair Games in 1985 she won 16 medals including nine Gold.
Deahnne got her start in sport through school sport activities in which the Pacific School Games feature strongly. She went to the 1984 PSG in Melbourne and to Sydney in 1988, both times competing in Track & Field and Swimming events. At the Sydney PSG she had the added honour of carrying the ACT flag at the Opening Ceremony.
These days, after a brief stint at lawn bowls, this versatile athlete has turned her abilities to powerlifting, competing at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney which was the first time powerlifting for women was included in the program. She also competed in the 2004 Paralympics at Athens in powerlifting and came 5th both times.
She has just returned from the IPC European Powerlifting Championships where she won a Bronze medal in the 82.5+kg Division event. Her current Australian record for benchpressing is 137.5kg in the 82.5+kg Division.
A current ACTAS scholarship recipient and past AIS scholarship recipient, Deahnne received well-deserved accolades for her sporting prowess and dedication when she was named ACT Junior Sports Star of the Year 1985 and Young Australian of the Year in 1985. She also received the Order of Australia medal in 1988 for service to sport, particularly in Track and Field and Swimming.
Since the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, Deahnne feels that the Australian public has embraced people with disabilities. “The Australian public's awareness and appreciation of paralympic sport has grown in leaps and bounds.
“The technology has also changed which has made a big difference. The actual racing wheelchairs have progressed from four-wheeled chairs to low-profile, lightweight three-wheeled chairs.”
While training and competing are definitely priorities for this dedicated athlete, Deahnne also works full-time in the public service in Canberra for the Department of the Environment and Water Resources and spends her spare time reading and spending time with nieces and nephews.
Deahnne’s advice to young and upcoming athletes is to “always enjoy what you are doing and try your hardest but have fun in the events you compete in”.
Last updated on: 9 July 2007