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Has anyone ever competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics?

Did you know that some athletes have competed in the Olympics and Paralympics? (Picture: Mark Kiefe ATPImages via Getty)

The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics have seen a whole host of incredible achievements from athletes around the world.

History has been made with Dame Sarah Storey becoming Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian, while Team GB also won their first-ever wheelchair rugby gold medal.

Following an incredible summer full of sport, the Olympics and Paralympics had viewers gripped.

The first Olympic Games were held in 1896, while the Paralympics began in 1960.

But, have any athletes have competed in both events over the years? Read on to find out more.

Who has competeted in both the Olympics and Paralympics?

There have been 15 people who have competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics.

Some were Olympians who later competed in the Paralympics for a variety of reasons. One of the competitors have also won medals in both events.

Here are some athletes who have participated at both Games over the years.

Neroli Fairhall

1982 Commonwealth Games. Archery. Brisbane, Australia. New Zealand's Neroli Fairhall, who went on to win the Gold medal.

Archer Neroli Fairhall from New Zealand (Picture: Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty)

Neroli Fairhall MBE hailed from New Zealand and was the first paraplegic and disabled competitor in the Olympics. She won one Paralympics gold medal.

She was injured in a motorcycle accident when she was just 25 and became paralysed from the waist down.

It wasn’t until being encouraged byNew Zealand’s renowned disabled athlete, Eve Rimmer, that Neroli discovered her talent as an archer.

She competed in Archery in the 1980 Arnhem Paralympics, before being accepted to be compete in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The skilled athlete later competed in the 1988 Seoul and 2000 Sydney Paralympics.

Pal Szekeres

Hungarian wheelchair fencing athlete Pal Szekeres (Picture: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Pal Szekeres is a Hungarian fencer who is currently the only person to have won medals at both the Olympics and Paralympics – a bronze in the Olympics and six gold and bronze medals in the Paralympics.

Initially a competitor in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the athlete won a bronze medal in the team foil.

However, as he was training for the next Olympic Games, he was involved in a bus accident in 1991. It resulted in Pal becoming wheelchair-bound, but he didn’t let it stop him from continuing to pursue fencing.

He began training for the Paralympics and competed in the 1992 Barcelona event where he also won a gold medal. He later competed in the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and finally the 2012 London Paralympics.

Paola Fantato

Italian Paralympian and Olympian Paola Fantato competed in Archery (Picture: Adam Pretty via Getty)

Paola Fantato was the first athlete to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics in the same year. The Italian archer did this at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

She is a Polio survivor and was paralysed at just eight years old. She has used a wheelchair since.

During her time competing, she won a total of 8 medals in the Paralympics. Five gold medals were won, along with one silver and two bronze medals.

As well as the 1996 Games, she participated in the 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona, 2000 Sydney and the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

Marla Runyan

Runner Marla Runyan from America (Photo by THIERRY ORBAN/Sygma via Getty)

Marla Runyan became the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympics.

The American athlete has won five Paralympic gold medals and has participated in an array of events including long jump, 100, 200 and 400 metre races and cycling.

She competed in the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, and later the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics.

Natalia Partyka

Polish table tennis competitor Natalia Partyka (Picture: Buda Mendes/ via Getty Images)

Natalia Partyka is a Polish table tennis player and a renowned Paralympics and Olympics competitor.

She was born without a right hand but competed in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics when she was just 11 years old, and was the youngest Paralympian in the sport’s history.

During her time competing in the Paralympics so far, she has won five gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal.

Pepo Puch

Austrian Paralympics equestrian rider Pepo Puch (Picture: Julian Finney via Getty)

Pepo Puch is an Austrian equestrian rider who initially participated in the 2004 Olympics.

A freak riding accident left him with incomplete paraplegia and he chose to retrain as a Paralympics dressage rider.

He has since won two gold medals, one silver one bronze medal at the Paralympics over the years at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics.

Ilke Wyludda

Germany’s Ilke Wyludda is a discus thrower (Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty)

German discus thrower Ilke Wyludda competed in the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She has won one Olympic gold medal over the years.

However, in January 2011 she had to have her right leg amputated due to Sepsis.

She refused to let that stop her and continued to compete in para-sport competitions. In 2012, she participated in the London Paralympics.


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