Michael Milton is one of Australia's best-known athletes. His four gold medal haul at the 2002 Winter Paralympic Games endeared him to a sport-loving nation and earned him the title of Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.
In April 2003 Michael tried something new: speed skiingating, the drag racing of alpine sport. On the steepest slope in the world he clocked over 193km/hr, smashing a 16 year old world record and becoming the fastest skier with a disability on the planet.
Every year after that he bettered his own world record until, in April 2006, he clocked a staggering 213.65km/hr to also become the fastest Australian skier ever.
A month earlier at the 2006 Torino Winter Paralympic Games (in his fifth Paralympic Games) Michael's ski racing career came to an end. Under a new, tougher classification system, he won a silver medal in the Downhill, achieving his goal to "...win a medal, any colour." After a racing career spanning almost 20 years, Hihiss ski racing medal count stands at eleven Paralympic medals (six gold) and eleven World Championships medals (six gold).
But he was far from finished. Milton then pursued a new sport: cycling and, a. After just six months of intense training, he not only won a gold medal in the 3000m Individual Pursuit at the Australian Track Cycling Championships in February 2007 but also broke the Australian record.
His dream to make the Australian cycling team and compete at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games was sidelined in July 2007 when he was diagnosed with Oesophagael Cancer. in July 2007.He has since made an amazing comeback from this serious illness, recording times at the 2008 Australian Track Cycling Championships comparable to his results in the same events 12 months previous ago and subsequently being named in a squad of 18 athletes bound for Beijing.
It was his sixth Paralympic Games and his first as a summer athlete and, he arrived in Beijing less than 12 months following since major surgery. In many ways, he'd already won.
Miltonchael competed in three events - the 1km Time Trial and the 300m Individual Pursuit on the track and the 60.5km Road Race with top ten finishes in both track events.
Michael's presentation was impressive, moving and powerful and was very well received by all at the Canberra Centenary Speakers Series at the National Portrait Gallery. We really appreciated his generosity in sharing his personal story, as one of the subjects in our Collection.
Manager Learning Programs, National Portrait Gallery
Thank you for your contribution to our 10th Anniversary celebrations. You made a deep impression on all the participants! I was delighted with your contribution and as I had imagined, your thoughts, approach and insights provided us with a wonderful beginning to what were to prove an excellent couple of days. The participants remarked on your tenacity, persistence, spirit, enthusiasm and courage. To have someone display these qualities with such transparency, was a gift to us and you left your mark on the memories of all of us who had the privilege to listen to you. Thanks for giving us a piece of yourself, and thanks for your openness, the demonstration of risk taking, hard work and a confidence to back yourself, all important qualities for us to take into our next ten years.
Managing Director, Donington Group
Thank you so much for attending our planning session last Friday. All of our staff commented on your inspirational story and attitude. We had a very productive session in the afternoon and you certainly helped set the scene and open the minds of our team.
Director, Australian Capital Tourism
Many, many thanks for your inspiring conclusion to CHIK's Health-e-Nation conference on the Gold Coast. You well and truly delivered on the brief and we've received great feedback on your session. You have a remarkable ability to bring an audience with you on your journey through life.
Managing Director, CHIK Services
How great it was to meet Michael and what an inspiration he is. I'm sure Michael has the same effect on most people but I found myself awe inspired and speechless hearing his story and his achievements. I have no doubt after meeting and hearing him speak that there will be a great deal more stories.
Ramsay Health Care
Very inspirational, very interesting. A great speaker, I had seen a programme on pay about him and it was great to see him in real life. Puts things back into perspective that things aren't always that bad and could be a lot worse. A genuine great Aussie hero who hasn't let his reputation go to his head.
Toyota Dealer Conference
Michael thank you for such an inspiring presentation. Your story is truly amazing… your strength, courage and passion for life is contagious. Your bar is set high and it has left many of us thinking about our own personal and professional goals. Good luck with your future endeavours… I get the feeling there are many more chapters to be added to the Michael Milton story.
Producer - The Seven Network
It was a very motivating, practical and pleasant experience for me to listen to Michael and take away with me some of the important things he mentioned about disability, attitude, expectations of society, goal setting and mentoring/leadership. I found it very beneficial and would practically apply some of the thoughts to my approach to work, family and life in general moving forward.
Transport Accident Commission Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Luncheon
This is the first time we have had a guest speaker as part of our team day, and your presentation to us was inspirational and very well received by all participants. The demonstration of your accomplishments and adversities provided a new perspective on our own lives.
Director - IT Audit AASG, Australian National Audit Office
Michael is someone you can listen to time and time again. The way he manages and deals with what life throws at him is an inspiration to all and shows that we often sweat the small stuff without really remembering what it is that's most important in our lives. Thanks for such a great presentation Michael - you helped to make our conference the success it was.
Bankwest, Retail Sales Broker Conference