World-ranked snowboarder Carl Murphy (33), of Lake Hawea, has
a Paralympic gold medal in his sights.
The International Paralympic Committee has announced his
sport has been included in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games
Murphy is ranked second in the world in adaptive snowboard
cross and is regarded by coach Adam Dooney, of Wanaka, as a
gold medal prospect.
He is already a member of the New Zealand snowboard team and
has long dreamed of competing at Paralympic level.
“This is such good news for para-snowboarding as a whole,”
“I am most excited for our riders. Paralympics New Zealand
could send at least two riders to this event and with Carl
currently ranked second in the world, we have a real shot at
gold for New Zealand.”
Murphy said the announcement “means everything to me”.
“It has been my lifelong dream to compete in the Paralympic
Games and represent New Zealand at the highest level,” he
“I started competing five years ago and I am now No 2 in the
world. I have no doubt I am capable of achieving gold in
“I know it’s going to be very tough, with the high level of
riders coming through the ranks, but I am confident with
where I am now and will be working full steam ahead over the
next 22 months to get myself into a position where I will be
a realistic medal chance for the Sochi Games.”
Murphy was second at the world championships and fourth at
the X-Games in North America earlier this year.
He works as a draughtsman and trains almost fulltime at
Cardrona Alpine Resort in the winters.
“It is always a bit of a balance.
“Being a disabled snowboarder, there is not a lot of funding.
You still have to work. I train three or four mornings a week
and work in the afternoons.”
Murphy is a below-the-knee amputee and uses a prosthetic.
He was born with a congenital defect in his right leg,
resulting in the removal of his lower limb.
New Zealand representatives on the World Snowboard Federation
committee have long lobbied for the inclusion of snowboarding
as a Paralympic sport.
Wanaka hosted the world para-snowboard championships in 2009
and a world cup event during the Winter Games last year.