Have Any Amputees Become Olympic Champions?

American gymnast George Eyser was the first person to compete in the Olympics while wearing a prosthetic limb. In his youth, the German-born athlete had lost his leg in an accident involving a train. Eyser competed in the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis, Missouri, wearing a wooden left leg. He won six medals on a single day of competition (October 29, 1904), including gold medals in the long horse vault, the parallel bars, and rope climbing. Eyser also won two silver medals and one bronze medal.

Other amputees in the Olympics:

  • Olivér Halassy competed on the Hungarian water polo team in the Olympic Games in 1928, 1932, and 1936, winning a silver and two gold medals, respectively. Halassy had lost his left foot in a childhood accident.

  • More recently, South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, who lost her left leg below the knee at age 17, competed in the 10-kilometer swimming marathon at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

  • Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius ran in the 400-meter race and the 4 x 400 meters relay at the 2012 Olympics in London on carbon-fiber prosthetics.

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More Info: NPR

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