Updated: Feb 14
There's no holding these amazing people back!
Sport holds an important place in society here in the UK. It's part of our social lives, part of our community, not to mention a useful activity that can benefit our physical health in so many ways. It's important that no individual be denied the chance to participate in sport as a leisure activity on the grounds of limb difference or other disability. That's why today the ExpHand team are taking a special look at limb difference sports and athletes that can offer guidance or inspiration to the next generation of limb different Paralympians and weekend warriors - let's take a look!
Jonnie battled with Meningitis at the age of 5 which led to the amputation of his right leg below the knee. He now wears a prosthetic leg daily and wears a running blade to train and compete in. Jonnie chose to compete in para sport and worked his way up to competing in the paralympics in 2012 and 2016, but this isn't necessarily just because he wears a prosthetic.
Limb difference sports & athletes Johnnie Peacock - The Fastest Amputee On Earth
Jonnie battled with Meningitis at the age of 5 which led to the amputation of his right leg below the knee. He now wears a prosthetic leg daily and wears a running blade to train and compete in. Jonnie chose to compete in para sport and worked his way up to competing in the Paralympic games in 2012 and 2016, and when he was only 19 years old he took home the Paralympic 100m gold medal for his classification in just 10.90 seconds - a new Paralympic record - watch the race here!
Limb difference sports & athletes Natalie Du Toit - Swimming
The Paralympics are a perfect example of showing that people with disabilities can not only compete in a huge variety of sports, but that they can achieve sporting excellence too, with some sports specifically designed for Paralympic athletes such as boccia and others adapted versions of able bodied sports such as wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball. Some athletes compete with assistive devices such as prosthetics to aid them, whilst others compete without; this decisions varies by person and by sport.
However, there are 15 athletes that have competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics, in sports such as archery, fencing and table tennis - Natalie du Toit is one of them. Natalie is a South African swimmer who wears a prosthetic leg, but typically goes without her aid to swim and competes in the 10k open water race. Du Toit proves that a disability does not necessarily limit you solely to parasport.
Limb difference sports & athletes Carson Pickett - Football
Another example of someone not letting their disability stop them achieving their sporting goals is Carson Pickett. Carson was born missing her left hand and forearm, but has still carved out a career as a professional football player for Orlando Pride in the United States. She's a defender that started playing at a young age and continued through school and college before turning professional. And as her sport mostly revolves around the use of her feet, Carson doesn't use a prosthetic when she plays
So remember - Even with a limb difference sports are an option!
There are numerous examples of inspirational athletes with disabilities that have achieved sporting excellence with and without the use of prosthetics - we have only mentioned a few of them here. Overall we hope you've seen that even with a limb difference sports are not only accessible, but can be played at the highest level, in a packed stadium in front of thousands of people. If sport's not your thing however, why not check out the ExpHand blog for more inspirational stories of success with a limb difference, like those of Alex Brooker and Cerrie Burnell from the world of entertainment?