Paralympian of the Year, Jacqueline Freney celebrated by Australia Post

09 November 2012

Australia Post will recognise the outstanding achievements of Paralympic Gold Medallist and Paralympian of the Year 2012, Jacqueline Freney, with today's release of a commemorative stamp featuring the inspirational athlete.

A deserving recipient, Freney was named Paralympian of the Year by the Australian Paralympic Committee last night at a Sydney awards ceremony. Previous Paralympians of the Year commemorated on an instant stamp sheetlet were Siohban Paton and Matthew Cowdrey. The Australian Paralympian of the Year instant stamp sheetlet will be available through participating Australia Post retail outlets from 9 November.

Australia Post Philatelic Group Manager Mr Michael Zsolt, said "There can be no doubt that Jacqueline Freney is a deserving winner of this award and Australia Post is delighted to support and commemorate her achievements through the release of this special stamp. We're confident that Australians share our pride in not only Jacqueline's incredible achievements, but those of all our competing athletes."

Born in Brisbane and now residing on the NSW North Coast, 20-year-old Freney is our most successful Paralympian at a single Games, having won a remarkable eight gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. She won a gold medal for every event in which she competed and won more gold medals than any other competitor from any country at the London Games.

Australian Paralympic Committee CEO, Jason Hellwig says that Freney can now be considered among Australia's sporting greats.

"Jacqueline has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is today, so it's great to see her recognised in such an iconic way. She is an exceptional athlete and her outstanding achievements at this year's Paralympic Games make her very worthy of this recognition."

Freney also competed and won medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands. At the 2011 Can-Am Swimming Open at La Mirada in the United States of America, she set a world record in the S7 400m freestyle event twice, once during the heats and again during the finals on her way to winning a gold medal.

After Olympic-style Games for athletes with a disability were organised for the first time in 1948, the Paralympic Games were first held in Rome in 1960. They have since been staged in the same year as the Olympic Games and at the same Olympic venues since 1988.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games took place 29 August-9 September. Around 4,200 athletes from more than 165 countries competed in 20 sports and 21 disciplines. The Australian Paralympic Team included 161 athletes and 144 officials (total Team size of 305). This was the largest Paralympic Team Australia has sent to an away Paralympic Games.

The Paralympian of the Year stamp sheetlet was designed by Simone Sakinofsky of the Australia Post Design Studio. The Paralympian of the Year stamp sheetlets are available from participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 9 November 2012 while stocks last.