Aussies exceed Games hopes midway through

Chef de mission Nick Dean says the Paralympics should already be considered a success for Australia. (AAP)

Australia's Winter Paralympic team boss has labelled the PyeongChang Games a success with four days before the closing ceremony.

Australian chef de mission Nick Dean wanted at least three medals at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics and he's got it with four days remaining.

The country sits 14th on the medal table after winning its first gold since Salt Lake City 2002, where there were significantly more medals offered in alpine skiing than subsequent Games.

And after Simon Patmore triumphed in snowboard cross this week, alpine skier Melissa Perrine clinched two bronze medals.

Australia has beaten its medal counts at Games in Turin in 2006 (one silver, one bronze) and Sochi four years ago (two bronze), achieved despite the injury withdrawal of co-captain and world No.2 snowboarder Joany Badenhorst.

It needs one more to level with the Vancouver 2010 team and still has ski slalom and snowboard banked slalom to do so.

"It is successful, by any measure," Dean told AAP.

"I was very guarded before the Games as you have to be.

"I was looking for any medal, any colour. We've exceed those expectations.

"You lose one, well there's still tomorrow. We've got another four days."

There have been a few disappointments by genuine medal contenders.

Perhaps the biggest has been co-captain and world champion alpine skier Mitch Gourley's failure to reach a maiden Paralympic podium at his third Games, while teen Ben Tudhope could not improve on his 10th placing in Sochi in boardercross.

As in many Paralympic teams, there are some athletes who have overcome major challenges just to be there, including shark attack victim Sean Pollard and Shaun Pianta, who lost his vision after contracting a superbug.

Dean has attributed the success to a team environment.

"It's really difficult with a specialist team of individuals but they really do have a team atmosphere. It's a credit to everyone involved," he said.

"It might seem a bit glib to say that in the view of success, but I would have said that regardless of the result."

Source: AAP

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