There are people whose legacy cannot be erased. When Ashley Adams had a fatal motorcycle accident at the age of 26, many thought he would remain dependent and irrelevant forever. But the young man proved them all wrong and went so far as to win several international sports competitions as a Paralympian.
You only know him as an inspiring Paralympian, but we have a lot to tell you about the former cattle breeder who came to the fore in a comet-like manner and became the darling of everyone in the history of the Paralympics.
Adam Ashley’s Biography
Ashley was born Adam Phillip Adams on 12 October 1955 in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. He had a son named Lain and five younger sisters.
After a desperate search, we can confirm that further details about the veteran Paralympic shooter (his parents, educational background, childhood life, and much more) are not currently available.
Nonetheless, before he stormed into the limelight, Ashley was a cattle rancher who owned a 26,000-acre station near Blackall, Queensland.
All was well and good in his life until he was involved in an accident at a local motorcycle competition in 1982 where he could not move or feel his legs and lower body after breaking his back.
Adam Ashley, who was 26 years old at the time, had to undergo six months of rehabilitation after which he was confined to a wheelchair.
Ashley Adams’ Paralympic Career
Unimpressed by his shocking and unfortunate transformation, the Toowoomba-born star began to see his condition only as a platform to become the leading light he always wanted to be.
Ashley joined the Paralympic team in 1993 and competed in several competitions, drawing on his previous experience shooting on his farm. To this day he holds the record for shooting from a prone position on the ground instead of from a prone position in his wheelchair for the Charleville Small Bore Rifle Club. This particular shooting style is unique for Olympic competitors.
Five years later, in 1998, Adams set a world record at the English Match. In the same year, he received a scholarship from the Australian Institute of Sports, which expired in 2000.
The competitive shooter was first at the Swiss Open, which was 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 first at the Australian Open Able-Body Prone National Championship.
Four years later, Ashley Adams was showered with praise for finishing first at the ISSF World Championships in Turkey and Spain.
The Paralympic legend also took fourth place in the SH1 competition with the R7 50m rifles in 3rd place (men’s category) and 7th place in the SH1 competition with the R1 10m air rifle.
At the end of 2014, Ashley was among the ten best in the world in three events. This was three years after he was also ranked as one of the best open shooters with a capable body in Australia in two different shooting competitions and as the first in the world.
Ashley Adams made his international debut for Australia at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. He has also performed at the following international events: Summer Paralympics 2000 in Sydney, Summer Paralympics 2004 in Athens, Summer Paralympics 2008 in Beijing, and Paralympics 2012 in London.
He went home with a bronze medal in the SH1 air rifle for men standing and a silver medal in the SH1 event with a mixed free rifle in lying position as well as at the 2004 Games in Athens.
The inspiring Paralympic shooter finished fourth in both the 10 m air rifle standing and the 50 m free rifle lying event at the 2008 Beijing Games.
At the London 2012 Games, he impressed the Australians and of course his fans by finishing in the top twenty at all four events.
Ashley was showered with praise and love for each of his victories. He has also been recognized for his sporting achievements, which include a Merit Award from the Australian Paralympic Committee and an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
He also went home twice with the Male Athlete Senior Sporting Wheelies Award, making him one of the most successful Australian Paralympic pioneers in history.
Facts You Should Know About Him
- The legendary Paralympic marksman lost his life on 17 March 2015 in an accident with a quad bike on his farm.
- He died at the age of 59.
- As a livestock farmer, Adams Ashley was a producer of TendaBeef.
- He was also a strong supporter of the genetic breeding of cattle.
- Although Ashley’s wife is not known, two of his grandchildren are simply identified as Sam and Ava.
- Among the events Adams attended were: R1 men 10m air rifle standing, R7 free rifle 3×40 50m, R6 mixed 50m free rifle lying and R3 mixed air rifle lying.