LONDON, England, September 28. THE British High Commission announced yesterday that South African Paralympian Natalie du Toit would be awarded as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her work in advancing the Paralympic Movement.
“Her Majesty The Queen has announced that South African Olympic and Paralympic medal-winning swimmer Natalie du Toit has been awarded an honorary MBE for her services to Paralympic sport,” the commission said in a statement.
Du Toit has had a legendary career in the sport. On top of having an incredible 13 gold medals from three Paralympic Games, she’s also the first amputee to ever qualify for the Olympics. In 2008, she finished 16th in the world in the 10K open water swim.
“I find myself extremely humbled and honored to be receiving this auspicious award,” du Toit said. “To those that have made it possible I thank you for believing in me and by having stayed by my side.”
Du Toit began swimming competitively at the age of 14, but lost her leg after a scooter accident in 2001 while heading back to school following her swim practice. Only three months later, the determined du Toit was back in the pool before she had learned how to walk without the use of one of her legs. Prior to her accident, du Toit had competed for South Africa at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. She retired from the sport following her three gold performance at the 2012 London Paralympics.