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GARDINER Darren
Sport Para powerlifting, Weightlifting
NPC Australia   
GenderMale
Age49
Place of BirthSydney, AUS
Height1.74 m
Weight 115 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Further Personal Information
Residence
Perth, WA, AUS
Occupation
Sales
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began competing in 1995.
Senior International Debut
Year
1998
Competing for
Australia
General Interest
Nicknames
Bear [because he roars like a bear to motivate himself before he lifts] (wais.org.au, 12 Apr 2012)
Hobbies
Gardening. (paralympics.org.au, 09 Jan 2012)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing in front of a home crowd at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, and winning his first Paralympic medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. (paralympic.org.au, 07 Sep 2010; paralympics.org.au, 09 Jan 2012)
Hero / Idol
Australian Paralympic weightlifter Ray Epstein. (paralympics.org.au, 07 Sep 2010)
Injuries
He experienced injury and illness in 2010. (paralympics.org.au, 09 Jan 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If you visualise, you will materialise." (paralympic.org.au, 2012)
Impairment
He had his left leg amputated below the knee at age 24 after contracting cancer. (paralympic.org.au, 07 Sep 2010)
Other information
RETIREMENT
He thought about retiring after the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, but his coach Ray Epstein persuaded him to continue and compete at the 2012 Games in London. He announced his retirement from the sport in December 2012 after narrowly missing out on a medal in London. "I donít think people appreciate just how good Darren is," said his former coach and fellow Paralympian Ray Epstein. "I donít think weíll see for a while someone lifting in Australia what he was able to lift. Heís a bit like a machine." (theaustralian.com.au, 12 Apr 2012; wais.org.au, 12 Dec 2012)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para powerlifting
Rank Year Event Result
7 2000 100kg 202.5
2 2004 +100kg 225.0
2 2008 +100kg 230.0
4 2012 +100kg 231
World Championships - Para powerlifting
Rank Year Event Result
8 1998 100kg 182.5
4 2002 +100kg 225.0
2 2006 +100kg 227.5
Commonwealth Games - Para powerlifting
Rank Year Event Result
3 2006 Bench Press 178.90