Jodi Elkington special guest at Australia Day celebrations

Jodi Elkington will be the special guest at this year's Australia Day celebrations.
Jodi Elkington will be the special guest at this year's Australia Day celebrations.

Gold medal winning Paralympian Jodi Elkington will be the special guest for Cowra's Australia Day celebrations.

Jodi's parents learned she had Cerebal Palsy when she was around 18 months old, after family members noticed something wasn't quite right but sport has always been Jodi's passion from the beginning.

Whether it be watching it on TV or playing it in the backyard, her runners were never too far away. Jodi first got into Paralympic sport in year six when her school teacher Leon Price convinced her to give swimming ago.

From there, Jodi went on to represent Victoria at a State level for three years. Jodi's time with swimming concluded after injuries to her right elbow that required corrective surgery.

Changing tack, Jodi soon began to visit the local Wodonga Athletics Track to keep fit and it is there she met local coach, Greg Simpson. Jodi progressed very quickly in six months and was selected to represent Victoria at the Pacific School Games in Canberra in 2008.

It was this point Jodi defines as the beginning of her sporting career. The head coaches of the Australian Paralympic Committee where there scouting for the next stars in the sport.

Jodi was fortunately selected to attend camps with the coaches and current paralympians to train, now classified in the Track & Field 37 category, competing against other athletes with the same level of disability as her.

In 2010 Jodi was selected to represent Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India where she finished fourth in the final. After the games Jodi moved to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra to train under Iryna Dvoskina.

In 2011 Jodi represented Australia at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in New Zealand where the 400m was her best result coming fourth.

She then refocused her training for her event at the 2012 London Paralympics where she finished sixth in the 400m and in her T35-38 4x100m cerebral palsy relay, finished 4th.

She won the 2014 National title in Melbourne which also gave her an automatic selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Jodi then went on to win the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the T37/38 Para Long jump, were all her six jumps were big enough to win her the gold medal.

Jodi is now in training for this year's domestic season and hopefully to qualify for the IPC World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October 2015. Her biggest goal and aim is the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.