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    Michael Johnson

    Ones to watch
    New Zealand New Zealand Shooting Para sport 15 October 1973

    Auckland, NZL

    Michael Johnson of New Zealand competing at Rio 2016

    Biography

    Human Interest
    Data Value
    Impairment Information
    Type of Impairment Spinal Cord Injuries
    Origin of Impairment Acquired
    Further Personal Information
    Occupation Athlete, Coach
    Languages English
    Sport Specific Information
    When and where did you begin this sport? He began target shooting in 2002.
    Why this sport? He wanted a hobby after his accident and chose shooting after seeing a brochure for Parafed Auckland Shooting Club in New Zealand. He was not serious about the sport at first but losing encouraged him to improve. "I didn't like that feeling, and it spurred me on to be better. I decided right there and then I didn't want to be the person in second place."
    International Debut
    Year 2002
    Competing for New Zealand
    General Interest
    Memorable sporting achievement Winning gold in the R4 mixed air rifle Sh2 event at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. (paralympics.org.nz, May 2019)
    Sporting philosophy / motto "Don't get stressed by the small stuff, and regardless of your results there will always be another competition." (paralympics.org.nz, 15 Apr 2015)
    Awards and honours He was named the Sport Performer of the Year at the 2015 Attitude Awards in Auckland, New Zealand. (stuff.co.nz, 04 Dec 2015)

    He was New Zealand's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (paralympic.org, 15 May 2012)

    He was given the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 for his services to Paralympic sport. (Athlete, 17 May 2012; gg.govt.nz, 03 Aug 2011)

    He won the MVP award at the Jikji Cup in South Korea in 2007 after winning all four events he entered. (melrosechairs.co.nz, 15 May 2011)
    Ambitions To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympics.org.nz, 13 Jun 2019)
    Impairment His impairment [quadriplegia] is the result of a car accident in 1996, at age 22, which left him with a broken neck and spinal cord injuries. (tvnz.co.nz, 11 Sep 2008; stuff.co.nz, 06 May 2018; paralympic.org, 15 Jun 2019)
    Other information COACHING FOCUS
    He began to focus on coaching after the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "When I started the sport, I was the only athlete in New Zealand and I just thought we need more shooters. So I've been just trying to promote it and have been coaching people, trying to get them in." He combines his roles as coach and athlete at international competitions. "I do better when I'm distracted. I'll be running an event, and coaching, and shooting, and setting everything up. But I end up doing better rather than if I was just focusing on shooting." (paralympic.org, 30 Jun 2017, 02 May 2018)

    OTHER ACTIVITIES
    He has served as a shooting Para sport athlete liaison officer for the International Paralympic Committee [IPC]. He has also served as the president of Parafed Auckland Shooting Club in New Zealand. (paralympic.org, 2017; paralympics.org.nz, 15 Apr 2015; insidethegames.biz, 09 Dec 2014)

    The biographies are regularly updated and new biographies of other Paralympic sports will be added frequently. If you find any mistake in a biography, please contact Rafael Maranhao, IPC Public Relations Senior Manager, at rafael.maranhao@paralympic.org.

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