Nathalie, the swimmer who lost a leg
Nathalie du Toit, the South African swimmer, was only seventeen when she lost her leg in a road accident. She was going to a training session at the swimming pool on her motorbike when a car hit her. Her leg had to be amputated at the knee. At the time she was one of South Africa’s most promising young swimmers. Everybody thought that she would never be able to swim competitively again.
But Nathalie was determined to carry on. She went back into the pool only three months after the accident. And just one year later, at the Commonwalth Games in Manchester, she swam 800 meters in 9 minutes 11:38 seconds and qualified for the final – but not for disabled swimmers, for able-bodied ones! Althought she didn’t win a medal, she still made history.
‘I remember how thrilled I was the first time that I swam after recovering from the operation – it felt like my leg was there. It still does,’ says Nathalie. The water is the gift that gives me back my leg. I’m still the same person I was before the accident. I believe everything happens in life for a reason. You cant go back and change anything. Swimming was my life and still is. My dream is to swim faster than I did before the accident.’
Oxeden, C; KOENIG, C. New English File. Intermediate Student’s Book. OXFORD University Press. (3c-47).