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Bailley's story: How being crushed wasn't the end of the world


Released 13/10/2020

Visual:

Bailley is sit-skiing down a slope. Scene then changes to Bailley talking to the interviewer off-screen.

Transcript:

Bailley: "Before my accident I was living in Dunedin, studying at the University of Otago, living a pretty normal life with friends and family. It wasn't really until I come across a news article a day after my surgery..."

Visual:

Bailly launches off a ski ramp, video slows down and stops. Words come onscreen: 'In 2016, Bailley was crushed by a collapsing balcony at a music concert.' 

Transcript:

Bailley: "...and read that I'll never walk again."

Visual:

Bailley is in a gym talking to the interviewer off-camera.

Words come on-screen: 'Bailley Unahi. Para athlete.'

Transcript:

Bailley: "Hi, I'm Bailley. I'm 24 years old, living here in Wanaka, sit-skiing and enjoying life. So, the day of the accident I was with my varsity rugby team. And we decided to call into the Six60 concert for a couple songs."

Visual:

Footage from the Six60 concert, showing the large crowd and crowded balconies. 

The balcony Bailley was under then collapses.

Transcript:

Bailley: "And then there was this loud noise that came above, and then, yeah, crushed me - the balcony with all the people on it. It was really sore. My legs felt like they were floating. I didn't realise my spinal cord was severed."

Visual:

 X-ray showing a severely damaged spinal column.

Bailley is in a gym talking to interviewer off-camera.

Transcript:

Bailley: "I think the biggest challenge really is like, like people's, society's, perceptions of you and..."

Visual:

Bailley is moving on the Wanaka lakefront in her wheelchair, and then eating lunch with a friend in a restaurant.

Transcript:

Bailley: "...people just make that quick assumption because you look different, because you use a wheelchair, that your life must be terrible. Like, so many people [have said], 'Oh, I'm so sorry you're in a wheelchair', but I'm like 'I still live a very good life, just treat me like normal really'.

Visual:

Bailley is in the gym.

Transcript:

Bailley: "I'm still the same person as I was before my accident, I just sit down a lot, do things a little different, but still the same person." 

Visual:

Bailley is sit-skiing down the mountainside. Words come onscreen: 'After recovering from surgery, Bailley discovered a newfound freedom in sit-skiing.'

Bailley is in a gym.

Transcript:

Bailley: "In 2017, I was involved in ParaFed Otago when I was living in Dunedin and then they invited me to come along on a snow sports weekend."

Visual:

Bailley is putting chains on her car tyres and getting her skiing equipment from her car. 

Transcript:

Bailley: "So, I came up and had a lesson. It was good fun being up the mountain and, like, you just feel normal, like you're just having fun."

Visual:

Bailley is sit-skiing down the mountain.

Transcript:

Bailley: "You're just skiing up the mountain like everyone else. You've got that freedom when you're out on the mountain."

Visual:

Bailley overlooking Lake Wanaka. Words come onscreen: 'Bailley is now part of a high performance development programme with Snow Sports NZ.'

Bailley in a gym talking to the interviewer off-screen, then scenes of her working out on different machines.

Transcript:

Bailley: "Ideally the long-term goal would be to go to the Paralympic Games. Pretty awesome to represent New Zealand and, you know, small town Winton, and, you know, females, that'd be pretty cool. Yeah, just keep doing the things that I enjoy." 

Visual:

Bailley is in her wheelchair on the Wanaka lakefront.

Transcript:

Bailley: "Try new sports and yeah, making cool memories." 

Visual:

Montage of different scenes on the lakefront, mountain and in the gym with Bailley smiling.

Transcript:

Bailley: "The alternative to, you know, not trying anything is, well, living the same life. You may as well give it a go and if you like it, it's another thing you can do. Life's so short you don't know what's around the corner and you know, make the most of now." 

Visual:

Screen fades to black. White words appear onscreen: 'Over the last year, we supported 5,585 people in Aotearoa with serious injuries. And we invested in injury prevention programmes to help people stay safe.

Prevention. Care. Recovery. Give Para sport a go - at any level.

Paralympics logo and ACC logo.

For more information, check out paralympics.org.nz/athletes/getting-started