Holly's second Paralympic Games experience in Rio 2016 is one she will always remember! Her dream began as she was named the Opening Ceremony flag bearer - an honour that few can boast. She then went on to win silver in the Women's Javelin F46.
Holly's silver medal throw contributed to the New Zealand Paralympic team’s stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists in 2016 (9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze). The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).
Since Rio 2016 Holly has won two further silver medals at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Holly grew up in the west coast town of Hokitika with her parents and twin brother. She started playing rugby when she was four, then continued to enjoy a long list of sport including netball, basketball, cricket and badminton. Holly's first experience of Para athletics was at the age of seven, at first she didn’t really enjoy it and so decided to play other sports instead. It wasn’t until Holly turned nine that she went back to Para athletics and found she loved it.
At the age of ten Holly was selected in a Talent Identification programme and attended her first overseas competition when she was 12. By this time she had decided she really wanted to give Para athletics a shot and gave up all other sports except for netball to focus on Para athletics.
Holly moved to Dunedin in 2011 after she was offered a scholarship to train under Para athletics coach Raylene Bates. Moving to Dunedin in 2011 was a big step towards her dream to be the best in the world. The same year she moved to Dunedin, she attended my first IPC Athletics World Championships and the following year was selected and competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Holly has since competed at two further IPC Athletics World Championships in 2013 and 2015, winning a silver and bronze respectively.
Holly competes in Para athletics because she enjoys and loves it. She loves the thrill of competition, challenging herself and working hard to achieve her goals. Holly's ultimate goal is to one day be the best in the world.
Outside of sport, Holly completed a degree at the Otago Institute of Sport and Adventure in 2015 gaining a Bachelor of Applied Science in physical activity, health and wellness.
Key international events include:
2019 World Para Athletics Championships - date tbc
Photo credit - Getty Images