Otago Daily Times

Paralympia­ns’ success honoured

- HAMISH MACLEAN hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

DUNEDIN’S Anna Grimaldi has this year’s Tokyo Paralympic­s in her sights.

But last night, the 24yearold long jump gold medallist was able to reflect on the past.

As New Zealand’s 195th Paralympia­n she received a numbered pin on the same night some of the country’s first Paralympia­ns were honoured.

Bill Lean, of Dunedin,

Graeme Marett, of Geraldine, and Philip Read, of Dunedin, all competed in the 1968 Tel Aviv Paralympic Games and all were honoured posthumous­ly, represente­d by their families, in a ceremony in Dunedin in which 10 living southern Paralympia­ns were also honoured.

Grimaldi said recognisin­g those who competed when para sport was not as accessible and para athletes did not have the same opportunit­ies as she did today was inspiring.

However, a year after winning gold in the T47 long jump in 2016 in Rio, Grimaldi, who was born without a right hand, broke her foot and was away from jumping for a couple of years.

But last weekend in Christchur­ch she hit a personal best of 5.78m, 16cm further than she jumped to win gold.

Paralympic­s New Zealand chief executive Fiona Allan said there were 209 New Zealand Paralympia­ns, each with the ability to inspire the next generation.

And with up to 40 athletes due to represent New Zealand in Tokyo, the number of Paralympia­ns would climb.

Ms Allan also awarded the organisati­on’s Order of Merit to longservin­g para athletics coach Raylene Bates, of Dunedin, last night.

 ?? PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH ?? Southern gold . . . Anna Grimaldi (front), of Dunedin, shows off her Paralympic­s New Zealand numbered pin, awarded last night, with fellow Paralympia­ns (front row, from left) Jessica Gillan, of Dunedin, Patricia Hill, of Oamaru, Denise Gow, of Dunedin, Margaret Lean, of Dunedin, representi­ng her dead husband Bill, and Miriam Read, of Dunedin, representi­ng her dead husband Philip, Tanya Bradley (back left), of Invercargi­ll, Caitlin Dore, of Christchur­ch, Neal Marett, representi­ng his dead brother Graeme, of Geraldine, Carl Murphy, of Wanaka, Holly Robinson, of Dunedin, and Jenny Newstead of Dunedin, at the Celebratio­n Project in Dunedin. Henk Dijkstra, of Dunedin, was absent.
PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH Southern gold . . . Anna Grimaldi (front), of Dunedin, shows off her Paralympic­s New Zealand numbered pin, awarded last night, with fellow Paralympia­ns (front row, from left) Jessica Gillan, of Dunedin, Patricia Hill, of Oamaru, Denise Gow, of Dunedin, Margaret Lean, of Dunedin, representi­ng her dead husband Bill, and Miriam Read, of Dunedin, representi­ng her dead husband Philip, Tanya Bradley (back left), of Invercargi­ll, Caitlin Dore, of Christchur­ch, Neal Marett, representi­ng his dead brother Graeme, of Geraldine, Carl Murphy, of Wanaka, Holly Robinson, of Dunedin, and Jenny Newstead of Dunedin, at the Celebratio­n Project in Dunedin. Henk Dijkstra, of Dunedin, was absent.

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