Gabrielle Clark has achieved a great deal as an athlete and a person with a disability. A self-advocate for people with Down Syndrome, she has represented Australia and the state of New South Wales at both international and national forums and sporting events for a period of twenty years.
Sport is what Gabrielle lives for. She trains hard every day, is very competitive and determined to achieve the goals she sets herself, always insisting that her disability is not a handicap.
Gabrielle contributes the most memorable achievements in her life to the Special Olympics program.
- 1993 Represented Australia in swimming at the Pan Pacific Games, winning gold, silver and bronze medals.
- 1997 –NSW MMI Daily Telegraph Special Olympics Sports Star of the Year Award.
- 1997 - Special Olympics Australia Sports Personality of the Year Award
- 1998 Special Olympics Australia Outstanding Achievement – Special Olympics Athlete Award
- Represented NSW at the Australian Women’s Disabled Basketball Championships
- Represented NSW at National Games in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Tasmania, ACT , Sydney and the Gold Coast winning 28 gold, 18 silver and 13 bronze medals over a period of fifteen years.
- Successive Gold Medal Winner at State Swimming Championships in 200metres freestyle, 100metres freestyle, 50metres freestyle, 200metres, 100metres and 50metres backstroke 1998-2006.
- 2002 – Finalist NSW Young Australian of the Year Awards – Community Services Division.
- The face of the Special Olympics National Games Sydney 2002
- 2003 - Awarded the Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community.
- Torch Bearer for the 2004 Olympic Torch Relay in Sydney which she describes as the “greatest thrill in her life”.
- 2004 Ambassador for “International Day for People with Disabilities
- 2005 – Represented Australia in Golf at the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Christchurch, New Zealand. Winner – Open Women’s Division
- 2005 - Ambassador for “International Day for People with Disabilities
- 2006 – Represented New South Wales at the Special Olympics Australia VIII National Games Brisbane Nine Hole Golf Competition – 3rd Open Women
- 2007 – Special Olympics New South Wales Nine Hole Golf Competition – 1st Open Women
- 2007 Gabrielle attended the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, as an Honoured Guest. Some of her responsibilities at the games were medal presentations and Gabrielle said her greatest thrill was presenting the Australian Male Gymnasts with their medals. and stand with them while they sang the National Anthem
- 2007 – Represented New South Wales in Golf at the ACT Invitational Games 1st Open Women
- 2008 – Special Olympics NSW Nine Hole Golf Competition – 1st Open Women
- 2008 – Winner DrJohn Day Award - awarded annually to an athlete who embodies the spirit of Special Olympics by showing leadership whether on or off the sporting field
- 2009 - Special Olympics NSW 9 Hole Golf Competition – 1st Open Women
- 2009 Selected to represent NSW in Golf at the Special Olympics 1V National Games in Adelaide 2010
- 2010 Special Olympics New South Wales Womens 9 Hole Golf Competition – 1st Open Women
- 2010- Special Olympics Australia IV National Games – 2nd Open Women 9 Hole Golf Championship
- 2011 Gabrielle attended the Official Announcement and launch for Los Angeles to be the host city for the World Summer Games in 2015
- 2011 Multi Disability State Championships – 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals
- 2011 National Down Syndrome National Swimming Championships 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
- 2012 4-7 July will represent Australia playing Golf in an Asia Pacific Competition in Macau – Gold Medal
- 2012 Finalist Sports Federation NSW Awards for utstanding acievement for athlete with a disability
As well as her achievements in sport Gabrielle is also an excellent public speaker. She has given keynote addresses at a number of international, national and state conferences and successfully raised greater awareness for people with an intellectual disability highlighting the opportunities provided through the Special Olympics Program.
Gabrielle is a very proud Australian and a unique young woman who continually inspires people from all walks of life, preferring to demonstrate her ability to the community rather than focus on her disability.
Gabrielle’s goal in life is to improve the social image of people with an intellectual disability. Her favourite charity is Special Olympics and she continually seeks opportunities to raise awareness and much needed funds to support their program.
Gabrielle is admired and respected by her peers for her optimistic journey through life, her refreshing outlook and her willingness to help others. She inspires other to like themselves, to believe in their ability and to have the courage to pursue their dreams.