Posted on Wednesday 14th July, 2021

Four-time Paralympian #148 Michael Johnson has been selected by Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) to the New Zealand Paralympic Team heading to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games which begin on 24 August. The announcement was made today in Auckland at the ParaFed Auckland Shooting Range. This marks the 7th selection announcement to the New Zealand Paralympic Team.

Paralympian #148 Michael (Mike) Johnson will be competing at his fifth Paralympic Games in Tokyo. He is only the second New Zealand Paralympian to do so, alongside Paralympian #54 Colin Willis and fellow Shooting Para sport athlete who competed from New York and Stoke Mandeville 1984 to Athens 2004. And one Paralympic Games behind Paralympian #4 Graham Condon who competed at a staggering 6 Paralympic Games from Tel Aviv 1968 to Seoul 1988.

Injured in a motor accident aged 22, Johnson returned to university to study a Bachelor in Information Systems before in his late 20s he spotted a brochure at ParaFed Auckland promoting target shooting and he decided to give the sport a go. Starting out at the Ardmore National Shooting Complex in 2001 he was immediately taken with the challenge of the sport. Within a year of taking up Shooting Para sport he was competing internationally.

Since then, Johnson has gone on to claim gold in Athens 2004, followed by back-to-back bronze medals at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games. He is also a coach and loves supporting and developing upcoming Para athletes. Johnson has a spinal cord injury.

Paralympian #148 Michael Johnson said: “I am so happy to have been officially selected today to the New Zealand Paralympic Team. Competing at a Paralympic Games is an amazing experience, and to be part of the team and represent my country at my 5th Paralympics makes it even more special.”

Paula Tesoriero (Chef de Mission, NZ Paralympic Team) said, “To have a four-time Paralympian such as Mike as a member of the New Zealand Paralympic Team is fantastic. I really look forward to seeing the impact he has on the entire team with the experience he brings and particularly those Para athletes making their Paralympic debut in Tokyo.”

Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, PNZ) said, “It is fantastic to announce Mike Johnson as being selected to represent New Zealand at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games today.”

She continues, “By competing at his fifth Paralympic Games in Tokyo Mike’s outstanding achievement has to date only been equalled by Paralympian #54 Colin Willis and bettered by one Games with Paralympian #4 Graham Condon having competed at a staggering 6 Paralympic Games. Mike will continue to build on the legacy of previous Paralympians that have competed in the New Zealand Paralympic Team in Shooting Para sport. PNZ wishes Mike all the very best in his final preparations.”

Gavin Paton (Sport Development Manager, NZ Shooting Federation) said, “On behalf of the New Zealand shooting community we are hugely proud of Michael and his selection to the New Zealand Paralympic Team. We wish him all the very best for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.”

The New Zealand Paralympic Team has competed in Shooting Para sport at 8 Paralympic Games since Arnhem 1980. Over this time Shooting Para sport athletes in the New Zealand Paralympic Team have won 5 medals across 8 Paralympic Games.

The addition of Johnson takes the New Zealand Paralympic Team to 27 selected Para athletes. The eventual team will include up to 30 Para athletes in total. From April onwards, Paralympians Cameron Leslie, Nikita Howarth, Tupou Neiufi, Sophie Pascoe and Jesse Reynolds were selected in Para swimming; and Paralympian Cameron Leslie and Para athletes Hayden Barton-Cootes, Cody Everson, Robert Hewitt, Tainafi Lefono, Gareth Lynch, Gavin Rolton and Mike Todd in Wheelchair rugby; Paralympians Holly Robinson, Caitlin Dore, Anna Grimaldi, William Stedman and Para athletes Lisa Adams, Danielle Aitchison and Ben Tuimaseve in Para athletics; Paralympian Scott Martlew and Para athlete Corbin Hart in Para canoe; Paralympian Stephen Hills and Para athletes Sarah Ellington, Eltje Malzbender, Rory Mead, Nicole Murray and Anna Taylor in Para cycling. Paralympian Cameron Leslie has now withdrawn from the NZ Paralympic Team for personal reasons.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from Tuesday 24 August to Sunday 5 September 2021 and will include 22 Para sports on the event schedule and up to 4,400 Paralympians competing. The Paralympic Games is the largest event worldwide for driving social change and inclusion. 

The Paralympian selected to the New Zealand Paralympic Team are:

Para athleteResidesClassificationImpairment (Disability)CoachClub
Paralympian #148 Michael JohnsonAucklandSH2CSpinal Cord InjuryFreddy KrummParaFed Auckland Shooting Club