Following a motorbike accident which paralysed her from the waist down ending her previous athletic career she took up archery and was able to compete in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, shooting for New Zealand. She came 35th. Fairhall was the first paraplegic to compete in the Olympic Games.
A national champion for many years, Fairhall won medals and held titles at Paralympics, IPC-Archery World Championships and many international tournaments.
She continued to coach at her Christchurch archery club after retiring from shooting.