Natalie du Toit lost a leg in a motorcycle accident in 2001. She was just 17 years old. Already an established swimmer at the time, she didn’t let the setback rob her of a swimming career. She managed to place eighth in the 800m freestyle event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, where she competed against able-bodied athletes. She went on to win the same event at the 2003 All-Africa Games—again competing against non-disabled swimmers—and narrowly missed qualifying for the Olympic Games in 2004. During the Paralympic Games in Athens, however, she walked away with five gold medals and a silver. She then captured five gold medals at the 2008 Summer Paralympics. Having placed fourth in the 10km open water swimming world championships in 2008, she represented South Africa in that event at the Olympic Games, too, where she finished 16th.
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