Games type: Paralympic Winter Games
Games year: Innsbruck 1984
Medal won: Gold, Silver
Para sport: Para alpine skiing
Gender: Female
Date of Birth17 June 1959
OccupationFull time mum
Impairment (Disability)Visually impaired

Viv Gapes (nee Martin) is New Zealand’s first ever Paralympic Winter Games gold medallist. As a Para alpine skier she won a gold and 2 silver medals at the Innsbruck 1984 Paralympic Winter Games. The New Zealand Paralympic Team that competed at Innsbruck remains one of the largest winter Teams to date. 

Viv competed with her sighted guide, Mike Curzon, at the Paralympics. He was also the New Zealand team’s physiotherapist.

Viv would then repeat that triple medal haul two years later at the alpine skiing world championships in Sweden.

Today Viv is an avid walker, despite being born with ocular toxoplasmosis, an infection that caused scar tissue to cover her retinas, leaving her with very blurred vision.

Read her full story here.

Viv officially received her ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in Auckland in May 2019.

Paralympic results

1984Innsbruck 1984 Paralympic Winter GamesGold - Women's Giant Slalom B2
Silver - Women's Alpine Combination B2
Silver - Women's Downhill B2