Australia have named a six strong sailing team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with Liesl Tesch, who was robbed at gunpoint close to the Guanabara Bay sailing venue, among those included.
Tesch, a six-time Paralympian, was pushed off her bicycle by a man brandishing a gun close to Flamengo Beach last month, with her bike and that of Australian Paralympic team physiotherapist Sarah Ross each being stolen.
The 47-year-old, who became an incomplete paraplegic after breaking her back in a mountain bike accident aged 19, described the incident as "absolutely horrific".
The incident highlighted concerns over security ahead of the Games, with the city's Mayor Eduardo Paes claiming Rio de Janeiro's State Government had done a "terrible" and "horrible" job of ensuring security, while striking police held up signs at the city's main airport welcoming tourists "to hell" earlier this month.
Despite being robber, Tesch stated that she is relishing the opportunity to participate at her seventh Paralympic Games, where she with her sailing partner Daniel Fitzgibbon in the SKUD18 event.
“I can tell you, I will experience the same amount of joy now for my seventh Games as I did for my first,” said Tesch, who was three-time medal winner in wheelchair basketball before switching to sailing in time to win Skud18 gold at London 2012.
“I am looking forward to defending gold at the Games, but I am always aiming to sail a good regatta and be smart and do it well.
"Every race, and every training session is about doing the best we can.”
Australia will be represented by the world number one ranked Russell Boaden, Colin Harrison and Jonathan Harris in the sonar class.
The trio ended with a bronze medal at the Para World Sailing Championships in May, but will be eager to improve on that result in Rio.
Matthew Bugg has been selected as Australia’s sailor in the 2.4 fleet at the Games.
“The Australian Paralympic Sailing Team is world class across all three boat classes and I have no doubt they will be pushing hard to build on the success they have achieved in recent years,” said Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) chief executive Lynne Anderson.