Jessica Gallagher

Jessica Gallagher
030516 - Jessica Gallagher Rio media pic - 3b.jpg
2016 Australian Paralympic Team portrait of Gallagher
Personal information
Nationality Australia
Born (1986-03-14) 14 March 1986 (age 33)
Geelong, Victoria
ResidenceMelbourne, Victoria
SportAlpine Skiing
Field athletics
Track cycling

Jessica Gallagher (born 14 March 1986) is an Australian Paralympic alpine skier, track and field athlete, and tandem cyclist. She was Australia's second female Winter Paralympian, and the first Australian woman to win a medal at the Winter Paralympics at the 2010 Vancouver Games. She competed at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, where she won a bronze medal in the Women's Giant Slalom Visually Impaired.[1]

She is legally blind, and represents Australia internationally in three sports: skiing, athletics and cycling. Besides her skiing achievements, she has represented Australia in athletics at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, and won a silver and a bronze medal at the 2011 Christchurch IPC Athletics World Championships in long jump and javelin, respectively. She has also represented the state of Victoria as a junior in netball and basketball. Gallagher was selected in the Australian cycling team with her pilot Madison Janssen for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.[2] Her "long term goal is to be the first Australian to medal at a summer and winter Paralympics or Olympics".[3] This was achieved when she won a bronze medal in the Women's B/VI 1000m time trial in Rio.


Wikinews reporters interview Australian Paralympic skier Jessica Gallagher and her guide Eric Bickerton

Gallagher was born on 14 March 1986 and lives in the Geelong suburb of Highton.[4] In 2009, she graduated from RMIT University with a Master of Osteopathy,[5] and is a registered osteopath.[4][6]

At the time of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics, she was dating the American Paralympic sitting ski slalomer Gerald Hayden.[7] She is an ambassador for the Australian Paralympic Committee,[8] Vision Australia,[9] Seeing Eye Dogs Australia,[10] Vision 2020 Australia,[11] Kx Pilates[12] and 2XU.[12]

She is legally blind due to Best's disease, a rare condition.[5][13] She started to lose her eyesight when she was a teenager, having received the results of tests while she was competing at the U17 national netball championships.[14]

Gallagher was selected to compete at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics in long jump, 100m, shot put and discus, but she failed her classification test because the classifiers said the eyesight in her right eye was 0.01% better than it needed to be. In November 2009, her classification was revisited due to deterioration of her vision and she was deemed eligible to compete.[13][15]

Gallagher was appointed to the Board of Vision 2020 Australia in June 2015 and is also a member of its Member, Finance and Audit Committee.[16]

In March 2018 she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.[17]

Other Languages
português: Jessica Gallagher