Natalie du Toit is an inspiration. At the age of 18 Natalie had won two gold medals for swimming in the 2002 Commonwealth Games. She was presented with the David Dixon Award for outstanding athlete of the Commonwealth Games as well as being named South Africa's top Sportswoman of 2002.
In February 2001 Natalie's left leg was amputated after a scooter accident. Before the accident Natalie was a very promising 14 year old in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Natalie's determination meant that a month after the accident she started swimming again before she had even relearned how to walk. A year later she won the 50 m and 100 m Elite Athlete with a Disabilty freesyle swimming at the Commonwealth Games breaking two world records
Natalie also made it to the final of the 800m able bodied open freestyle when she finished 46 seconds behind the winner. Natalie's next goal is to represent South Africa in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Not only is Natalie a great swimmer she is also an inspiring speaker. She helps campaign for the rights of disabled people in South Africa and worldwide. She belives 'Society need to understand that we are people first, who happen to also have disabilities. There is nothing wrong with us. It is a lack of reasonable accomodation that prevents us from contributing meaningfully to the economy, sport, eduction, housing and transport.'
In the words of the Commonwealth Games Federation chairman, Mike Fennell, 'Her achievements in Manchester reflect her determination in life to overcome adversity and in the process inspire others…'