There are people whose legacies cannot be wiped out. When Ashley Adams had a fatal motorcycle accident at age 26, many thought he would forever remain dependent and irrelevant. But the young man proved them all wrong, went as far as winning several international sporting competitions as a Paralympian.
You only know him as an inspiring Paralympian but we have a lot to tell you about the former cattle grazier who meteorically rose to prominence, becoming everyone’s favourite in Paralympics history.
Adam Ashley’s Biography
Ashley was born Adam Phillip Adams on October 12, 1955, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. He had a son called Lain and five younger sisters.
After a frantic search, we can confirm that other details about the veteran Paralympic shooter (his parents, educational background, childhood life and many more) are currently not available.
Nonetheless, before storming the spotlight, Ashley was a cattle rearer who had a 64,000-acre (26,000 ha) station near Blackall, Queensland, to his name.
Everything was all fine and good in his life until in 1982, when he got involved in an accident at a local motorbike competition, which left him unable to move or feel his legs and the lower part of his body after breaking his back.
Adam Ashley, who was 26 at the time, was forced to undergo a six-month period of rehabilitation, after which he became wheelchair-bound.
Ashley Adams’ Paralympic Career
Unfazed by his shocking and pitiable transformation, the Toowoomba-born star began to see his condition as nothing but a platform to become the leading light he always wanted to be.
Counting on his previous shooting experience on his farm, Ashley joined the Paralympic team in 1993, competing in several events. To date, he holds the record for shooting from a prone position on the ground instead of a prone position in his wheelchair for the Charleville Small Bore Rifle Club. This particular shooting style is unique to Olympic competitors.
Five years later, precisely in 1998, Adams went on to set a world record at the English Match. In the same year, he received an Australian Institute of Sports scholarship which expired in 2000.
The competitive shooter finished first at the Swiss Open which held in 2002 and 2003. 2007 was another big year for him as he won a gold medal, a bronze medal at the Korean Cup, and was able to finish first at the Australian Open Able-body Prone National Championship.
Four years later, Ashley Adams was showered with praises for finishing first in ISSF World Cup events in Turkey and Spain.
The Paralympic legend also finished fourth place in the R7 50m rifle 3 position SH1 event (men’s category) and 7th in the R1 10m air rifle SH1 event.
By the end of 2014, Ashley was ranked in the top ten in the world for three events. This was three years after he was also ranked as one of the top able-bodied open shooters in Australia and the first in the world in two different shooting events.
Ashley Adams made his international debut for Australia at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics. He also made appearances at the following international events – the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing and 2012 London Paralympics.
He went home with a bronze medal in the Men’s Air Rifle Standing SH1 and a silver medal in the Mixed Free Rifle Prone SH1 event and at the 2004 Athens Games.
The inspiring Paralympic shooter finished fourth in both the 10 m air rifle standing event and in the 50m free rifle prone events at the 2008 Beijing Games.
At the 2012 London Games, he impressed Australians, and of course, his fans by finishing in the top twenty in all four of his events.
For every of his victory, Ashley was showered with praises and love. He was also recognized for his sporting feats which include a Merit Award by the Australian Paralympic Committee and an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
He also went home with the Male Athlete Senior Sporting Wheelies Award twice, making him one of the successful Australian Paralympians in history.
Facts You Should Know About Him
- The iconic Paralympic shooter lost his life on March 17, 2015, as a result of a quad bike accident on his farm.
- He died at the age of 59.
- As a cattle grazier, Adams Ashley was a producer of TendaBeef.
- He was also a strong advocate of genetic breeding of cattle.
- Although Ashley’s wife is not known, two of his grandchildren are simply identified as Sam and Ava.
- Events Adams competed in included R1 Men’s 10m Air Rifle Standing, R7 Free Rifle 3×40 50m, R6 Mixed 50m Free Rifle Prone, and R3 Mixed Air Rifle Prone.