Natalie du Toit carries South African flag at Olympics

Natalie du Toit diving

Natalie du Toit diving

Natalie du Toit, the amputee South African swimmer whom we’ve blogged about before here, is carrying the flag for South Africa at the Olympics. Peter Kostadinov at sofiaecho.com writes:

Du Toit will compete in the women’s 10-kilometre marathon swim. She booked her place by finishing fourth in the 10-kilometre race at the World Open Water Swimming Championships in Seville in May 2008. Now she has the chance to become the first athlete with an amputated leg to win an Olympic medal in 56 years. Continue reading

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Natalie Du Toit

Being an L1 paraplegic who also swims to keep fit and who grew up as a competitive swimmer, I was amazed when I read about this South African amputee swimmer who made it to the Beijing Olympics in the able bodied 10km open water swim. Natalie Du Toit was amputated through her left knee after being hit by a car back in 2001. She does not use a prosthetic leg when she swims. She recently came fourth in the Open Water World Championships where she qualified for Beijing. I am looking forward to seeing how she performs at the Olympics later this summer.

This article talks more about her story. I decided to blog on this after reading about Oscar Pistorius on the post by Spirit of the Time.

Update ( 08.08.08 ) by Spirit of the Time: see also this more recent What Sorts post on Natalie Du Toit, written just before and after the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics.

Update ( 20.08.08 ) by Spirit of the Time: see also this recent What Sorts post on Natalie’s 10km swim results.

Run Oscar, Run !

Ready to Go

Oscar Pistorius will be racing over this weekend in The Netherlands. At least some of the races, especially the 400 metres, will give him an opportunity to set a time that improves his chances of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics; his personal best time is 1 second slower than the qualifying time, and he’s apparently not in top-form right now. But still … he’s probably got as good a chance as the Penguins have of trumping the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup. The CBC has a nice short story on this right here.

Go, Oscar, go!

Update: news of his 200 metre run from Sports Illustrated, and now of his 100 and 400 metre runs here. Oscar needs to shave just more than 2 seconds off his 400 metre time in order to qualify for the South African team by qualification time, unless no other South African has a qualifying time.

Double-amputee sprinter can pursue Olympic dream: ruling

In a unanimous ruling, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced Friday that double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius will have a chance to represent South Africa at the Beijing Olympics this summer.
more here