Defiant chronicles the remarkable life of Janine Shepherd, an elite ski racer whose bid to represent Australia in the Olympics was cut short by a tragic accident. She recalls the 10 days she hovered between life and death, faced with the difficult choice to let go or return to a body that would never be whole again. After six months in the hospital battling to rehabilitate her permanent disabilities, she not only taught herself to walk again, she earned her wings as both a pilot and an aerobatics instructor.
On an afternoon bike ride in the Blue Mountains Janine Shepherd's life was altered irrevocably. When the champion cross country skier in training for the Winter Olympics was hit by a truck, doctors warned her parents that she was not expected to survive. Even if she recovered, she would never walk again. Coming to terms with her shattered Olympic dreams, Janine focused every sinew of her being on healing. Her fighting spirit was rekindled watching small planes flying overhead. She said to herself, 'If I can't walk, I'll fly.' And fly she did.