Margaret Maughan: Pioneering Paralympic dies at the age of 91

Meet the Paralympic swimmer changing perceptions one stroke at a time

Maughan won the historic gold medal in archery at the 1960 Paralympics in Rome and continued to compete in five other games.

She was a strong supporter of the Paralympic movement and ignited the cauldron during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Following a traffic accident in Malawi in 1959, Maughan was paralyzed from the waist down. It was curated by Dr. Ludwig Guttmann in the UK, a prominent neurologist who founded the Paralympic movement.

“We mourn the loss of one of Britain’s legends in the Paralympic sport today with the disappearance of Margaret Maughan,” said Nick Webborn, president of the British Paralympic Association.

“Although his death is extremely sad, the fact that he lived until the age of 91 testifies to the work of Sir Ludwig Guttman who has transformed the care of people with spinal cord injuries and that through sport people with disabilities can enjoy rich and fulfilling lives.

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“Margaret, we thank you and greet you for all you have done, and even if we miss you tremendously, we will never forget you.”

In addition to his archery gold, Maughan also competed in swimming, winning gold in the 50m backstroke of the 1960 Paralympics when he was the only competitor of the event.

He also competed in archery, a hybrid of darts and archery, in 1972 and petanque in 1980.

He has won a total of five medals in his career, three gold and two silver.

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“On behalf of British Para-Swimming we are deeply saddened by the news of Margaret Maughan’s death,” said Chris Furber, National Performance Director of British Para-Swimming.

“It was a great inspiration and helped to pave the way for what the Paralympic movement has become.

“Watching her ignite the cauldron in London was an incredible moment and everyone who is involved in para sports will be missed.”


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