Paralympic athlete Madison de Rozario savaged a social media troll who mocked her disability.
The two-time gold medallist was last week named alongside snowboarder Ben Tudhope as Australia's Paralympians of the Year, becoming just the fifth woman to be awarded the honour by her nation. But while most celebrated her success, one Facebook user posted a cruel comment.
They wrote: “What’s better thanks (sic) winning gold at the paralympics? Walking!” De Rozario didn't let the pathetic reply phase her, responding: “I’ve actually done both! It’s definitely gold at the Paralympics. Great question — hope you’ve got more gems for us in the future. xx”
In a later upload to Instagram she added: “Men who think they’re funny but absolutely are not are my least favourite genre.”
Wheelchair racer De Rozario has competed at the last four Paralympics in Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. She won silver in 2008, two more in 2016, then a bronze and two golds last year.
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The 28-year-old developed transverse myelitis aged four, a neurological disease which inflames the spinal cord and left her using a wheelchair. She hailed what the Paralympics have done for disabled people after winning the 2020 Female Athlete of the Year award.
“The Paralympics is the largest platform for people with disabilities and you want to do everything that you can with that platform,” De Rozario said. "That is one of the incredible things that comes with being part of this Paralympic team.
"We prioritise the Paralympic movement and the impact it’s had on the 20 per cent of Australians with disabilities is unreal. Honestly, it’s a privilege to be part of that.”
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