Para-athlete inspired to run for nation
ATHLETICS: Zoe Larsen has her sights set on representing Australia at the Paralympic Games.
The Year 8 Nanango High School students was born without a fibular bone and is a below knee amputee.
Zoe is determined to prove that being an amputee doesn't stop her from living life to the fullest.
"Throughout my life people have expected me to be incapable of doing sport,” she said.
"I have always felt like I needed to prove something to everyone.”
She has recently taken up athletics after being inspired watching the Commonwealth Games.
Zoe was eager to start athletics three years ago but a type 1 diabetes diagnosis put her track aspirations on hold.
"I always have to check my levels before I run and if I am too high I can't do any sports,” she said.
Zoe is on her way to making her goal to represent Australia a reality after claiming top honours at her first Queensland school sport track and field championships.
She showcased her sprinting prowess to win gold in the 100m and 200m running events and tested her strength in shot put earning a gold medal for her efforts.
An avid swimmer and former netball player, Zoe exceeded her own expectations on the track.
"I was not sure what to expect because it was in Brisbane and I expected really fast people to be there. I surprised when I got a medal,” she said.
"When I called my dad after my first medal for shot put he was gobsmacked.”
At the state championships Zoe was inspired by the efforts of Met East multi class athlete Lewis Bishop.
"He came first in all his events and that inspired me to run faster,” she said.
The opportunity to meet New Zealand para-athlete Liam Malone, now the 100m world record holder, two years ago has proved to be great motivation for Zoe.