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FLETCHER Gemma
Sport Para alpine skiing, Sailing
NPC New Zealand   
GenderWomen
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Further Personal Information
Family
Two children
Residence
Auckland, NZL
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began sit-skiing at age 14.
Club / Team
Royal Akarana Yacht Club: Auckland, NZL
General Interest
Other sports
She competed in Para sailing at the world championships in 2014 and 2015. (SportsDeskOnline, 18 Jan 2019; givealittle.co.nz, 16 Apr 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (givealittle.co.nz, 16 Apr 2018)
Impairment
She sustained a spinal cord injury at age four after she was involved in a car accident. Her mother was killed instantly in the crash, and her father was seriously injured. (givealittle.co.nz, 16 Apr 2018; Athlete, 02 Sep 2015)
Other information
ALPINE RETURN
After taking up sit-skiing as a teenager, she left the sport for a period and began focusing on Para sailing. She participated in two editions of the world championships and qualified a New Zealand boat for the 2016 Paralympic Games, although what she describes as "organisational reasons" meant she was unable to compete in Rio de Janeiro. She then decided to return to Para alpine skiing, inspired by the opportunity to become the first female athlete to represent New Zealand in one of the sit-ski disciplines at the Paralympic Winter Games. "I remembered how much I loved it up there, and moreover, that I am good at it. And then I watched the Winter Games, and I realised, that I could do this. That I could take my skill, my passion, and all of the lessons I learnt from my sailing campaign, and go and compete in Para alpine skiing at the next Paralympic Winter Games [2022 in Beijing]." (givealittle.co.nz, 16 Apr 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships - Sailing
Rank Year Event Result
11 2014 Two-Person Keelboat 92.0