Dan Michel is an up-and-coming Australian boccia champion. He is competing in his second Paralympics at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
His physical impairment is called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 – a congenital condition.
Boccia has been a Paralympic sport since the Stoke Mandeville/New York 1984 Paralympic Games. It is played by athletes with a significant physical impairment affecting all 4 limbs.
His ramp assistant Ashlee McClure says ‘people should look up to him. His determination to get where he is today … I look up to him every day – it makes me be a better person.’ This sentiment is underlined by vision of young kids being inspired to join the sport as Michel was.
In an interview Michel says, ‘Jump in there if you really love something and pursue it the best you can. You can really go places.'
Matt Carmichael reports this story from Nightly News 7 Tasmania, 24 August 2019. It refers to the Tokyo Paralympics being one year away – without knowing they would be delayed by a year to August 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.