1 year ago

Inform issue 30 - Autumn 2020

  • Text
  • Autumn
  • Paralympic
  • Arts
  • Paralympics
  • Donohoe
  • Shane
  • Syndrome
  • Australia
  • Ndis
  • Feature
  • Disability
In this issue of Inform we meet those working hard every day to achieve their dreams.


4 Feature Living the Dream

Feature 5 Alistair Donohoe had always dreamed of being an elite sportsperson. It’s a dream the World Champion and Paralympic silver medallist lives every day. Inform caught up Alistair to talk about his many career highlights and why there’s still plenty more he wants to achieve. Alistair Donohoe has never had a plan b. After multiple world championships and Paralympic medals though, it’s clear the twenty-five-year-old doesn’t need one. Today, Donohoe is a professional cyclist spending his weeks riding hundreds of kilometres and putting in hours at the gym training for his next race. But eleven years ago, he was an active 14-year-old living with his family in Darwin, dabbling in everything from gymnastics to triathlons. ‘I did triathlon with my parents. They got into that just to keep fit, and I ended up just kind of following suit with them. And then I actually really enjoyed kid’s triathlon. And then more specifically really enjoyed the bike aspect,’ Donohoe told Inform from his Sunshine Coast training base. At the tender age of 12, Donohoe shifted his focus from triathlon to cycling. At the beginning, he did all kinds of cycling from BMX and mountain biking to road and velodrome. But a move to Melbourne to complete high school saw him focus on road and velodrome. ‘The competition in Melbourne is far tougher and there's far more to do. So, I got into the road and velodrome aspect when I was there. And yeah, the rest is kind of history.’ But there’s far more to Donohoe’s story that just that. At 14, while swimming at a local creek in Darwin with friends, Donohoe jumped out of a tree, like he’d done plenty of times before. But this time, he got tangled in the rope. ‘The damage caused from going from falling to a complete stop on the rope severed through 90 per cent of my tricep and 80 per cent my bicep.’ Donohoe says that while many people ask him how he dealt with such an injury at such a young age, he says he was focussed on being a teenager, spending time with his friends and doing what he normally did. ‘I have a vivid memory of being in a wrist brace with a massive swollen arm and going to the local Wednesday night running club with my parents, and just running with my arm across my chest, strapped to my chest.’