• Michelle Meehan

THE DYNAMIC DAWES DUO: On and off the track

Twenty years, six Paralympics, three Games medals. Countless personal bests and race wins around the world. It’s a pretty impressive resume for any athlete and their coach. But for Merewether couple Christie and Andrew Dawes, theirs is not just a sporting success story but a tale of a husband and wife, 14 years of marriage and one beautiful five-year-old boy also among their milestones.

The friendly and unassuming couple have been at the centre of the world wheelchair track and road racing circuit for the past two decades – but if you’d asked them about the future in the mid-1990s, neither of them would have ever dreamed of being where they are today.

Christie, who grew up on the western shores of Lake Macquarie at Marmong Point, was just nine years old when her father died unexpectedly. Eleven months later her family’s world was shattered once again when she was involved in a car accident with her mother and older sister. The crash broke her spine, leaving her a paraplegic.

As part of her rehabilitation, Christie was encouraged to get fit and stay active. She later became involved with the NSW Wheelchair Sports Association, where she tried her hand at a series of different disciplines before taking up track and road racing.