The Rio Paralympic games will be underway from 7-18 September. Two of the 45 South African athletes are UP representatives. The star-studded squad will be representing the country in ten different sporting codes, which include archery, athletics, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, power lifting, rowing, swimming, shooting, and tennis.
UP swimmer Emily Gray made the Paralympic squad after a competitive campaign to qualify alongside Shireen Sapiro and Alani Ferreira. The 25-year-old Gray will be competing in the 100 m backstroke. Gray competed in two previous Paralympics and will be relying on her experience to further her advances. The swimmer has been an inspiration to many, with standout performances after an amputation at 12 following a diagnosis of bone cancer.
UP’s Shaun Anderson will be representing South Africa for archery. The left hander, who is nick-named “the one armed bandit”, will have the support of his coach Barbara Manning and is one of only five athletes which feature as a solo competitor. Anderson made history three years ago when he became the first South African para-archer to compete against able-bodied archers at the World Cup Championships in Poland, a feat which was similarly achieved by former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.