Australian Paralympian Janet Shaw dies aged 46

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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Peter Marsh at a Wikipedia workshop in 2011
Image: Leighblackall.

Western Australian Paralympic bronze medalist Janet Shaw has died following a long battle with cancer. She was 46 years old.

A vision impaired cyclist, she and pilot Kelly McCombie earned a pair of bronze medals at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in the individual pursuit and road race/time trial events. She also won four medals at the 2002 IPC Cycling World Championships. Beyond cycling, Shaw worked as a motivational speaker and author, having written two memoirs, Beyond the Red Door and a follow up called Bit of a Super Hero: Choosing the Challenge – My Journey with Cancer.

Australian national team coach said of Shaw, “I was privileged to be a National Coach with the Australian Paralympic Team for Athens and have a role with Janet and Kelly leading into those Games. They dedicated themselves so solidly together, and came away medaling in two events…. Janet said losing her eyesight was the best thing that ever happened to her because it eventually led her to where she was standing, waiting to achieve glory in Athens. That quote has stayed with me ever since. She was an amazingly strong person who actually saw more than us.”

This is the second recent death of an Australian Paralympian. In late November, another Australian Paralympian, Peter Marsh of Queensland, died at the age of 64. He competed at the 1976 Summer Paralympics, 1980 Summer Paralympics and 1984 Summer Paralympics. Prior to his death, he was active in a project to document the history of the Paralympic movement in Australia on Wikipedia.


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