Nov.04.2020 75

6 famous athletes with disabilities

We collected athletes who overcame disabilities and ran away from their diseases and fears, jumped above their heads. And they became champions and record-breakers.

Oscar Pistorius (1986)

sports players with disabilities

The athlete with a disability from South Africa. He is often called “the fastest legless creature in the world. At the age of 11 months, Oscar was amputated below the knees because there were no bones in them from birth. However, he went to an ordinary school where he was actively engaged in sports – running, rugby, tennis, water polo, wrestling. After his knee injury, he focused only on track and field athletics and began to progress rapidly. The sportsman uses specially designed carbon-fiber prostheses for running (“Cheetah flexible legs”). At the Paralympic Games in Athens (2004), Pistorius won bronze on a hundred meter and gold on a distance twice as long. At the 2006 World Championship among the disabled, he won three courses at once: 100, 200, and 400 meters. But the real fame came to Pistorius when he began to compete with full-fledged runners.

Esther Verger (1981)

athletes with disability

Dutch tennis player. She is considered to be one of the greatest wheelchair tennis players in history. At the age of nine, as a result of spinal cord surgery, Esther’s legs were taken away. Esther Verger is a pro athlete with disabilities who is a multiple winner of Grand Slam tournaments, a seven-time world champion, four-time Olympic champion. In Sydney and Athens, she took the lead both independently and as a pair. Since January 2003, Verger has not suffered a single loss, winning 240 sets in a row. In 2002 and 2008, she became a laureate of the prize “The best sportsman with disabilities” awarded by the World Academy of Sports Laureus.

Philippe Croizon (1968)

famous athletes with disabilities

The athlete with physical disabilities and a famous French swimmer. In 1994, Philippe received the strongest electric shock, resulting in amputations of arms and legs. However, at the age of 42, he took and swam the Channel Strait – 34 kilometers in 13 hours without arms and legs. The preparation lasted two years. Philippe practiced on simulators every day, developed muscles, spent more than 30 hours in the water per week.

Igor Plotnikov (1982)

handicapped athletes

Handicapped athlete, Russian swimmer, winner, and two-time silver medalist of the Paralympic Games in Athens, winner of the Paralympic Games in Beijing, world champion, and European champion. Since birth, he has no hands. Igor began with track and field athletics in the sports and health center. Before he became a swimmer, he practiced skiing and speed skating. Igor has been a member of the Russian Paralympic team since 2002. He was nicknamed “Tyumen Dolphin” for his special swimming technique.

Alexey Ashapatov (1973)

pro athletes with disabilities

The famous disabled person in sports, champion and record holder of the Paralympic summer games in 2008 and 2012, world champion (2006), European champion (2005), ten times champion of Russia in athletics. As a result of an accident in 2002, he lost his leg. Despite that, he continued his sports activities and became a master of sports in Russian volleyball sitting. Apart from volleyball, he is also seriously engaged in other sports: Master of Sports of Russia International Class in arm-wrestling and Honored Master of Sports of Russia in track and field athletics, absolute European champion in discus throwing among people with disabilities. In 2008, at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, he won two gold medals, setting new world records – in the shot put and discus throw. At the Paralympic Games in London, he repeated his success at previous Games, becoming a champion in both the discus throw, breaking his world record, and in the shot put.

Elena Chistilina (1982)

athletes with a disability

The athlete with a disability, Honored Master of Sports, an athlete of the Omsk Paralympic Training Center. She won silver at the XIII Paralympic Games in Beijing and two bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, repeatedly won the Russian championships. In 2006, she got the medal “For Services to the Fatherland” by the Decree of the President of Russia.

Disabled sportspersons go through a lot of difficulties and inspire many people for new achievements. They have to cope with many problems, but their strength of spirit and desire to win lead them to success and the desired place on the pedestal.

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