Mitch Gourley: a para-alpine skier

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Can you imagine going down a slope with only one ski pole at more than 120km/h? Take a look at Mitch Gourley, a Paralympic athlete who competes in para-alpine skiing in the standing category. "Perform to the best" is his motto and giving up is not an option for him. His objective is to win a Paralympic gold medal.

Mitchell Gourley is one of Australia's best medal hopes at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games and heads into his Paralympic campaign in formidable form. Mitchell was the most successful of the team during the 2012-13 World Cup series, collecting four medals including one gold and three silvers across the slalom and giant slalom events.

He began the 2013-14 World Cup season in strong form, with two gold, three silver and one bronze medal and is hoping to carry his successful training period into the Games. His recent success builds on a strong foundation of training in the northern hemisphere mixed with plenty of competition. During the 2011-12 World Cup series, Mitchell won two gold in the giant slalom as well as two silver and three bronze medals in slalom, giant slalom and super-G. Mitchell began competing in winter sport at just 11 years old and represented Australia for the first time at 15.

Determined and confident, he is striving to win a Paralympic medal in the giant slalom, super G and downhill events and will draw from his Paralympic experience in Vancouver 2010 as well as his triumphs and losses since to get himself in the best possible condition to win. Not only does Mitchell ski, he also enjoys cycling, mountain biking, drinking coffee and searching for Melbourne's best hamburger. In his spare time, Mitchell likes to read and cites the character Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird as someone he admires.

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Allianz has been a Partner of the Paralympic Movement since 2006 and in 2011 became the first "International Partner" of the IPC which includes local partnerships with various National Paralympic Committees.