In 2008, South Africa’s Natalie du Toit became the first amputee ever to qualify for the Olympics. There she took 16th place in the 10km open water swim. This year, at the Laureus World Sports Awards, she was crowed a winner as she was named the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.
Competing nationally since the age of 14 years, duToit, lost her left leg at the knee after she was hit by a car. Three months later she got back into the water.
According to the Laureus Awards Web site, she is one of only two athletes to have competed in both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. In the Paralympics, she won five gold medals.