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SOYER Mark
Sport Para alpine skiing, Para ice hockey
NPC Australia   
GenderMen
Age44
Place of BirthMelbourne, AUS
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW11
Further Personal Information
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up sit-skiing during rehabilitation after his accident in 2004. He also began playing wheelchair tennis, rugby and basketball at the same time.
Why this sport?
"The best thing about skiing is the fact that my disability has little impact on the sport. None of them [other sports] really excited me because you want to be back doing everything you were doing before, as equals. When you're skiing it doesn't make a difference if you have a disability. It is great. I picked it up reasonably fast. I mean, I could make my way down a hill without killing myself or anybody else."
Senior International Debut
Year
2007
Competing for
Australia
Tournament
North-American Championship
Location
Copper Mountain, CO, USA
General Interest
Hobbies
Listening to music, mountain biking, kayaking, watching Grand Prix motorcycle racing. (Facebook page, 07 Aug 2020; paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the world championships in 2015 and 2017. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Hero / Idol
US musician Dave Grohl. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Injuries
He dislocated his shoulder, fractured his collarbone and broke 12 ribs after falling at the 2017 World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. He underwent surgery and was sidelined for five months. (Mark's hopes for the Slopes Facebook event, 02 Oct 2017; paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Itís only your own ability that stops you. You pretty much lose your disability when you get in your sit ski." (skyhidailynews.com, 17 Feb 2015)
Awards and honours
In 2016 he was named Disabled Wintersport Australia's inaugural Simon Lo Schiavo Volunteer of the Year. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)

He was the Australian flag bearer at the 2015 World Championships in Panorama, BC, Canada. (riverineherald.com.au, 09 Sep 2017)
Impairment
In late 2004 he was working on the family farm in Chesney Vale, VIC, Australia, when the motorcycle he was riding hit a log concealed in the grass. He fell and severed his spinal cord, resulting in paraplegia. He was in hospital for five months. (abc.net.au, 04 May 2016; heraldsun.com.au, 13 Aug 2007)
Other information
OCCUPATION
He has worked as a jeweller, having completed a three-year degree in gemmology at the Gemmological Association of Australia in 2001. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Jan 2017)

CHILDHOOD ILLNESS
At age three he was diagnosed with leukaemia and given a 40% chance of survival. After a three-year battle he was declared to be in remission. He relapsed at age eight, and recovered a second time. (sheppadviser.com.au, 08 Oct 2014)

VOLUNTEERING
He has volunteered as a ski guide for Disabled Wintersport Australia, helping to teach people with both physical and mental impairments how to ski. (theage.com.au, 13 May 2012)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para alpine skiing
Rank Year Event Result
  2018 Downhill - Sitting  DNF
16 2018 Super-G - Sitting 1:32.32
  2018 Super Combined - Sitting  DNF
18 2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:29.94
  2018 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
World Championships - Para alpine skiing
Rank Year Event Result
  2014/2015 Giant Slalom - Sitting DNF
  2014/2015 Slalom - Sitting DNF
  2016/2017 Downhill - Sitting  DNF
17 2016/2017 Super-G - Sitting 1:09.68
  2016/2017 Super Combined - Sitting  DNF
13 2016/2017 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:36.26
13 2016/2017 Slalom - Sitting 1:39.13
World Cup Final - Para alpine skiing
Rank Year Event Result
  2015/2016 Slalom - Sitting  DSQ
12 2015/2016 Downhill - Sitting 1:21.17
11 2015/2016 Downhill - Sitting 1:19.60
  2015/2016 Super-G - Sitting  DNF
8 2015/2016 Super-G - Sitting 1:27.87
World Cup - Para alpine skiing
Rank Year Event Result
14 2015/2016 Downhill - Sitting  
17 2015/2016 Super-G - Sitting  
25 2016/2017 Giant Slalom - Sitting  
24 2016/2017 Super-G - Sitting  
  2017/2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting  DNF
  2017/2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting  DNF
  2017/2018 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
  2017/2018 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
10 2017/2018 Slalom - Sitting 2:09.91
9 2017/2018 Slalom - Sitting 2:03.60
11 2017/2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:23.32
  2017/2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting  DNF
16 2017/2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting 1:51.21
  2017/2018 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
12 2017/2018 Downhill - Sitting 1:20.42
14 2017/2018 Downhill - Sitting 1:22.60
11 2017/2018 Super-G - Sitting 1:24.11
13 2017/2018 Downhill - Sitting  
23 2017/2018 Slalom - Sitting  
21 2017/2018 Giant Slalom - Sitting  
16 2017/2018 Super-G - Sitting  
  2017/2018 Super-G - Sitting  DNF
Kranjska Gora - Para alpine skiing
Rank Year Event Result
15 2016/2017 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:22.89
  2016/2017 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
  2016/2017 Slalom - Sitting  DSQ