The cheers for Australia’s first Paralympic Winter Games gold medal in 16 years could be heard all the way from Korea to Mowbray.
When Simon Patmore added the snowboard cross gold in PyeongChang to his 200-metre T46 bronze from London four years ago he became the first Australian man to medal at both Summer and Winter Games and sparked wild celebrations among family members in the city of his birth.
“He still considers himself Tasmanian and his grandparents are still here in Launceston,” said proud grandmother Coral Patmore.
“We are absolutely delighted for him. We were fighting back tears when we were cheering him on.
Meet Simon Patmore - Australia's first GOLD medallist for the #PyeongChang2018 Paralympic Games. He's not only won Australia's first Paralympic medal in Para-snowboard but he's won our first Paralympic winter gold since 2002. What a legend! #WeBelievepic.twitter.com/YV0l6cpgw9— AUS Paralympic Team (@AUSParalympics) March 12, 2018
“He’s absolutely amazing and totally dedicated to all his sports.”
The son of Northern Bomber Peter Patmore spent seven years in Launceston, attending St Thomas More’s Primary, then another four in Kingston before the family relocated to Brisbane.
Born with Erb’s palsy which causes some paralysis to his left arm, Patmore made the switch from track sprinting having won the 200m at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Having mastered the snowboard under British and Australian Olympic coach Lukas Prem, the 30-year-old from Nundah in Queensland completed six successful runs down the 925-metre Jeongseon Alpine Centre course to claim Australia’s first Winter Paralympics title since Michael Milton and Bart Bunting at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
“I’m really proud,” said Patmore, 30.
“I really want to show everyone that it can be done and all you have to do is put in the effort and put in the time and trust the process.
“In the quarter-finals, semis and through to the final I was just holding back the tears and the emotions.
“Man my goggles fogged up as soon as I crossed the line. I had to collapse on the ground or I would have run straight into everyone.
“It was definitely emotional. I’ve been doing sports for eight years now and I’ve had the highs and lows.”
Within hours of clinching the gold medal, Mowbray Milkbar and Takeaway was being decorated in green and gold as owner Michelle Patmore was celebrating her nephew’s triumph with his grandmother and great aunt.
“We’ve still got goosebumps and keep telling the customers all about it,”Ms Patmore said. “Every time I keep seeing him come down that hill it’s just amazing.
“He was down here just last year and Tasmania is still home to him.”
Patmore, whose maternal grandparents Maxine and John Russell also live in Launceston, was cheered on in Korea by his father Peter, girlfriend Jessica and step-sister Brianna.