Alpine skier Cameron Rahles-Rahbula, 27, was awarded Australian Paralympic sport’s highest accolade: Paralympian of the Year. Crowned for his pair of bronze medals in the men’s slalom and super combined events at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games, Rahles-Rahbula took home two of Australia’s four medals overall. Australia ranked 13th in the medal tally at the Games, ahead of winter sports powerhouses Switzerland and Sweden.
“Cameron is an outstanding athlete and is one of the best winter Paralympians Australia has ever produced,” said Australian Paralympic Committee President Greg Hartung. “To win two bronze medals at a winter Paralympics is a huge feat and is a testament to Cameron’s skill, passion, and ability, particularly after he endured back and ankle injuries in the months leading up to the Games.”
Hartung said the achievements of Rahles-Rahbula, who lost his left leg through a bout with bone cancer as a 14-year-old, placed him in the ranks of other Paralympic greats including wheelchair racer Louise Sauvage, skier Michael Milton, and swimmer Matthew Cowdrey.
The Victorian was also recognized as the Australian male athlete of the year in the Sydney Olympic Park ceremony hosted by the Australian Paralympic Committee on October 18, 2010. Skier Jessica Gallagher was crowned female athlete of the year.