Natalie du Toit

Natalie du Toit

  Professional Swimmer


South Africa

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About Natalie du Toit

Natalie du Toit, a prominent swimmer, was born on January 29, 1984, in Cape Town, South Africa. Natalie du Toit hails from a working class family and her father David is a foreman, and mother Deidre is a receptionist. She attended her school at Reddam House, and earned a bachelor degree in science, from the University of Cape Town, specializing in genetics and physiology.

Natalie du Toit started her international swimming career at the age of 14, by competing in 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lampur. In 2001, she met with an accident, and her left leg was amputated at the knee, but this loss did not dampen her spirits. For her confidence and never-say-die attitude, she was voted 48th in the list of Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004 in a survey conducted by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Natalie du Toit performed exceedingly well in 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and set the world record by winning both the multi-disability 50 m freestyle and the multi-disability 100 m freestyle swimming events. Natalie du Toit won the David Dixon Award for Outstanding Athlete at the Commonwealth Games.

In 2003, she made a mark in the world of swimming by winning a gold medal in the 800 m able-bodied freestyle swimming event at the All-Africa Games. She took part in Afro-Asian Games and won silver in the 800 m freestyle and bronze in the 400 meters freestyle events.

In 2004, Natalie du Toit bagged five gold medals, and one silver medal in the Paralympics held at Athens. In the same year, she was nominated for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year 2004 with Disability Award.

At the Commonwealth Games 2006, Natalie du Toit proved her mettle yet again in which she won gold medals in 50 and 100 m Elite Athletes with Disability (EAD) events. She took the sports world by storm by winning six gold medals at the fourth IPC World Swimming Championship 2006.

On May 3, 2008, Natalie du Toit got qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after finishing fourth in the 10 km open water race at the Open Water World Championships in Seville, Spain. She was selected by her country's Olympic Committee to carry their flag at the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, making her the first disabled athlete to have this honour in an able-bodied Olympics.

Natalie du Toit regularly participates in the Annual Cold Water Big Swim from Robben Island to Bloubergstrand in order to raise funds for the assistance of underprivileged children as well as adults. She is also associated with the cancer association in Cape, and is involved in a noble work of helping the sick.

Natalie du Toit loves to speak on motivational topics in her spare time, which complements her courageous attitude towards life.

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