Kelly Cartwright

London Countdown

Kelly Cartwright: Paralympic Track & Field athlete
Age 22
Hometown Belmont, Victoria
Birthplace Geelong, Victoria
"Anything is possible."
kelly cartwright

Athlete Q&A

After losing your leg at 15 from cancer, what inspired you to take on the challenge of running?
I have always been a competitive person and love sport, and I am always wanting to set new challenges for myself. After learning more about the Paralympics and the athletes, and knowing I may get to represent my country at such an elite level, I was really inspired.

In 2008 you competed in the Beijing Paralympic Games. What have you learned from that experience that you’ll be taking with you to London?
Experience is the main thing I will be taking with me to London, now knowing what it's like to represent my country at such an elite level in front of thousands of people. The experience will help me focus on my race and my game plan instead of being nervous and unsure.

How did you feel after completing your seven-day climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro?
Climbing Kilimanjaro was the hardest and toughest challenge I have ever set for myself, both mentally and physically. I’m a stronger person both on and off the track because of it and it made me feel as though I can achieve anything I want and that I able to push myself to the limit.

What other sports are you passionate about apart from running?
I love a lot of sports, but to me athletics is my number one. Many of my friends compete in all kind of events and I love to watch them all.

Do you listen to any music on your iPod to get you geared up before a race?
I listen to music while warming up for an event but it’s usually just the latest music that’s out on the radio. Whatever it is, it has to be very fast and up beat.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If you think you can’t do it then you probably can’t. And, don't worry about things you can’t change only worry about the things you can.

How do you train and strengthen your mental agility?
I work with a sports psychologist to help me mentally as I think one of the most important things for an athlete is to stay focused. Self-talk and self-belief are some of the best things I do to help me in tough situations.

Are there any places in London you’re especially looking forward to visiting while in town for the Paralympics?
I am looking forward to visiting so many places while in London, but especially meeting some of my mother’s side of the family who I have not yet met.

What would you say to anyone looking to overcome physical obstacles whether in life or sport?
To never give up, and to take each day at a time. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

About Kelly

Kelly Cartwright was just 15 when forced to make the difficult decision about cancer discovered in her leg. Unable to have chemotherapy, Kelly had no choice but to have her leg amputated. After the operation, Kelly turned her attention to running and in 2007 experienced one of her proudest moments by running for the first time, using her running prosthesis, without falling over. Kelly then competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and finished the 100m sprint in sixth position. Following on from the Games, Kelly competed in the 2009 Oceania Paralympic Championships and broke the World Record and Australian Record for the 200m sprint and 100m sprint, respectively. In 2011, Kelly won two gold medals at the IPC Athletics World Championships, for the 100m sprint and Long Jump event, for which she broke the World Record.

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Career Highlights

  • 2011 World Championships – WR in long jump on the way to gold and winning gold in the 100m
  • 2009 Oceania Paralympic Championships - broke the 200m world record and the 100m Australian record
  • 2011 ICP Athletics World Championships – Gold 100m
  • 2011 ICP Athletics World Championships – Gold long jump

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