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Michael Milton

2012
Dave Tacon

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 48.2 cm x 34.6 cm, image: 40.6 cm x 26.9 cm)

Michael Milton OAM (b. 1973), Paralympic skier, cyclist and triathlete, is Australia's most decorated Winter Paralympian. Having begun skiing as a three-year-old, Milton developed bone cancer at the age of nine and had his left leg amputated above the knee. After seeing a film of a one-legged person skiing, he was determined to continue the sport. At fourteen, he competed at his first Winter Paralympic Games in Innsbruck. At the 1992 Winter Paralympics in France, Milton won Australia's first ever winter gold medal (Paralympic or Olympic) in the Men's Slalom LW2, and a silver in the Super-G. This was followed by one gold, two silvers and a bronze medal in Lillehammer in 1994. His most memorable performance was at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Paralympics, where he won four golds in a clean sweep of the Alpine events in his class. He also won six IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships between 1996 and 2004. After the 2002 Paralympics he took up speed skiing, and soon became the first person with a disability to ski at more than 200km per hour; he held the world speed record for a downhill skier with a disability from 2003 to 2006. At his fifth and last Winter Paralympics in Italy in 2006, he won a silver medal. In total Milton won eleven Paralympic medals (six gold) and eleven World Championships medals (six gold). He took up cycling in 2006, and six months later won a gold medal in the 3000m individual pursuit at the 2007 Australia Track Cycling Championships, breaking the Australian record for the event. Diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2007, Milton rallied and competed in cycling at the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympics. He has also represented Australia at two World Paratriathlon Championships and broke the Guinness World Record for Fastest Marathon on Crutches (one leg). In 2014, Milton was assistant Alpine Skiing coach with the Australian Paralympic team at the Sochi Winter Paralympics, and in 2017 competed in his first ultra-marathon, running 50km on crutches. Besides his sporting achievements, Milton is regarded as inspirational for feats such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and walking the Kokoda Track twice. However, he dislikes being characterised as courageous. 'The really important things in life are family, friends and having fun. None of those things has anything to do with how many legs you have,' he has said.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012
© Dave Tacon/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Dave Tacon (age 36 in 2012)

Michael Milton OAM (age 39 in 2012)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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