Life On The Job

Famous Australian

Michael Milton - Australian Sportsperson (21 March 1973 - ) - Skier, Cyclist, Paratriathlete



Michael John Milton OAM (born 21 March 1973) is an Australian Paralympic skier, Paralympic cyclist and paratriathlete with one leg. With 6 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze he is the most successful Australian Paralympic Athlete in the Winter Games.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Michael was born in Canberra. His left leg was amputated above the knee when he was nine years old due to bone cancer. He grew up into a skiing family, and after losing his leg he was determined to be able to ski again.

Michael's Achievements

Gold medals in the 1km Time Trial and 3000m Pursuit at the Australian Track

Championships two years running... with cancer in between.

Australian Open Speed Skiing Record of 213.65km/hr, April 2006.

World Speed Skiing Record (for a skier with one leg) for four consecutive years 2003-2006.

2007 ACT Australian of the Year.

First person with a disability to ski at over 200km/hr.

Twice walked the Kokoda Track in PNG and hiked to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro at 5895m.

Australia’s first winter gold medallist, Olympic or Paralympic, in 1992.

Australian record, LC3 class, 3000m pursuit (track cycling).

Two top ten placings on the track at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

Fourth in class at 2011 Paratri Worlds.

2nd last torch bearer at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney in front of 110,000 people.

11 Paralympic medals, inc 6 gold.

A clean sweep of alpine events at the 2002 Paralympic Games – a record four gold medals and the culmination of a ten year goal.

2002 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.

Dawn Fraser Award at the 2004 Australian Sports Awards.
(Source: Michael Milton - PDF)


Michael was educated at Canberra Grammar School from Kindergarten to Year 12. Michael didn't like school very much particularly as during 4th class, when he was 9 he developed bone cancer. He had to go to Sydney Children's Hospital - Randwick to have his leg amputated and to undergo chemotherapy. He did some correspondence school at home - but not much. His parents persuaded the school to let him come back to  5th class to stay with same class of friends. He was 18 months away from school.

In high school, Michael had to come to terms with his disability. He describes that he had no particular academic strengths, he was only sporting inclined. He was lonely and had few friends. From age 14 competing internationally so was absent from school for long periods.

Michael was into skiing - this helped him feel fast and competitive, however, in off-season training, the school was uncooperative about his sport. He wanted to join the school rowing team but was rejected because he had one leg.

Michael went to TAFE and also to the University of Canberra and was only one unit away from completing a Bachelor of Education degree when he found he didn't want to work in a classroom.
National Library of Australia)

Newspaper article
(Source: SMH, July 1984)


Michael works as a Motivational Speaker. Michael is a six-time Paralympian and mad-keen cyclist owning five bikes and operates a small Canberra-based cycling touring business called Big Foot Adventures.

BigFoot Adventures

Experiences, Opportunities & Training:

Michael Milton's Marathon: YouTube:



bullet.gif (981 bytes)Michael Milton - Official Website

Michael Milton website

bullet.gif (981 bytes)ABC - Australian Story

Australian Story

bullet.gif (981 bytes)The Australian - November 2013

The Australian

bullet.gif (981 bytes)National Library of Australia - Interview with Michael Milton
(Audio - 2 hours)


bullet.gif (981 bytes)Michael Milton - YouTube Videos

Michael Milton YouTube Videos
bullet.gif (981 bytes)2014 - ABC 666 Report

ABC 666

bullet.gif (981 bytes)Saxton - Speaker's Bureau

Speakers Bureau

bullet.gif (981 bytes)Disabled Winter Sport Australia



Did You Know?

Australian Paralympic Committee

2002 Salt Lake City, USA

7-16 March 2002:

The 2002 Salt Lake City Games was well organised on the back of the Olympic Games. Venues, transport and various other systems were replicated to great effect. During the Games, 416 athletes from 36 nations took part. It was the first Paralympic Games for Andorra, Chile, the People’s Republic of China, Croatia, Greece and Hungary.

There were three sports contested and four disciplines: Alpine Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey and Nordic Skiing (Cross-Country and Biathlon). The German team led the medal tally with a total of 17 gold, 1 silver and 15 bronze medals, followed by the team from the United States, which won 10 gold, 22 silver and 11 bronze medals.

Australia’s Michael Milton dominated these Games, winning gold in all four Alpine events. Overall, Australia placed fourth, with the team bringing home 6 gold medals and 1 silver. This result put Australia ahead of the skiing powerhouses of France, Switzerland, Italy and Canada.
(Source: Australian Paralympic Committee)


bullet.gif (981 bytes)Offline: Balancing on one leg


 Personal and Social CapabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and Social Capability

Cooperative LearningCooperative Learning Activity


1. Get a team together of 4 people.

2. Have a corner allocated to your team.

3. Have one person in your team be the time keeper - recording each 60 seconds.

4. One person at a time is to complete this challenge:

Stand in the corner of the room, close your eyes, cross your arms across your chest, then lift one leg. This leg is not to rest on any walls.

To complete this challenge you have to do this on both your right leg and your left leg for 60 seconds each without falling over/putting that raised leg down. This HAS to be done concurrently/or very close to it. In other words, if you manage 1 minute on one leg one day, and another 1 minute on another leg another day, that is not good enough to complete the challenge. However, if you manage 1 minute on one leg then it takes three or four goes before you manage it on the other leg, but in the same session, then you can claim completion.

It's not as easy as it sounds & it's harder if you're not wearing any shoes. (Source: TribeSports)

5. After each person in your team has completed the challenge, describe in your journal what it felt like to balance on one leg.

6. Think about what Michael must have felt like to have his leg amputated at 9 years of age and to have felt lonely and isolated from his classmates. Write down what you would do to make someone like him included in your team.

7. Share what you wrote with the other members of your team.

8. Share the results of your balancing on one leg with the rest of the class. How many attempts were completed? Which leg was harder to balance on? Did it relate to the dominance of your writing arm? (was the right leg easier to balance on if you are right handed?)


Another similar activity is at the Statistician.




bullet.gif (981 bytes)Online: Create a TED-Ed Inspiration Lesson on Michael Milton

MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability

Critical & Creative ThinkingAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical & Creative Thinking

Personal and Social CapabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and Social Capability


Michael Milton has inspired thousands of people with his talks on his life and its challenges. You are to create an inspiration lesson using TED-Ed about his life that will inspire young people to continue to strive despite adversity.

1. Watch this video and also look at the resources provided.

Michael Milton: Australia's fastest ever skier: YouTube:

2. Create a story board in 5 steps using the following website:


3. Work out how to use TED-Ed to create your inspirational lesson by taking a TED-Ed Tour.


4. Create an Inspiration Lesson

How to create

Material Sourced

Australian Paralympic Committee
Big Foot Adventures
Michael Milton
National Library of Australia


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