Notre Dame student awarded for Paralympic spirit and returns home a medallist

Toby Kane in action at the 2014 Winter Paralympics. Photo credit: Getty Images Europe

24 March 2014

Toby Kane, Medicine student at The University of Notre Dame Australia's Sydney Campus, has arrived home from the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics as Australia's highest achieving athlete of the games.

Toby, now a triple Paralympian and two-time Paralympic medallist, won bronze in the super-combined alpine skiing event – one of the five alpine skiing events he represented Australia in.

Toby's medal was one of only two brought home by the Australian team with Jessica Gallagher winning bronze in the giant slalom. In an interview with the ABC shortly after arriving at Melbourne airport on Thursday, Toby expressed happiness with being able to retire on a high and said he is now looking forward to experiencing his first Australian summer in years.

"That was my goal to stand on the podium again so I'm really happy to walk away now, and I'm proud of what I've achieved," Toby said.

At the closing ceremony, Toby was also awarded the prestigious Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award for exemplifying the Paralympic spirit and his role in spreading the Paralympic message.

"I'm a very proud Paralympian and I really believe in sport for people with a disability in terms of what it can show the world," Toby said.

"To hear about the award and what it signifies is icing on the cake for sure and it's amazing at my last games to be part of the closing ceremony and achieve this."

Although retiring from alpine skiing, Toby has an exciting future ahead of him as he finishes his Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at Notre Dame.

"Toby is a humble young man of courage, compassion and commitment – qualities that will be a powerful combination for an excellent, caring and ethical doctor," Dean of the School of Medicine Sydney Dr Christine Bennett said.

"Toby's historic achievement in the Sochi Winter Paralympics is a reflection of the dedication and perseverance he has consistently demonstrated in his medical studies and as an active member of the Notre Dame medical student community.

"All of us at the School of Medicine are delighted for Toby for both his personal achievement of a bronze medal and the wonderful recognition of his Paralympic spirit through the inaugural Whang Youn Dai Award."

Toby has participated in Notre Dame's Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) program providing him with additional support and study flexibility to successfully integrate his studies with training and competition.

Hannah Guilfoyle: Tel (02) 8204 4141;