Hayden Meikle counts down the 150 greatest moments in
No 132: Jenny Newstead's Paralympics
Jenny Newstead shows off the medals she won at the 1996
Olympic Games. Photo from the ODT Files.
Jenny Newstead was a disabled swimmer who had an
outstanding record and won 10 medals at Paralympic Games.
In Barcelona in 1992, the Duncan Laing-coached swimmer won
four gold medals and a silver medal.
Four years later, in Atlanta, Newstead won five more medals -
three gold, a silver and bronze.
She was versatile and swam the backstroke, freestyle,
breaststroke and individual medley events. In 1994 she won
two gold and four silver medals at the world championships in
It was not generally realised that Newstead, who suffers from
reflex sympathetic motor dystrophy, did not have enough power
in her arms to lift herself out of the pool. If she fell out
of her wheelchair she had to call for help.
This made it even more remarkable that she broke 37 world
records in her career.
Newstead, who was awarded an MBE in 1993, retired from
Paralympics competition after losing the use of her right arm
in a wheelchair accident in 1997.
She was only able to use one arm after her accident and was
tempted to retire from all swimming. She carried on swimming
at a lower level to encourage other swimmers with
disabilities and help coach Duncan Laing.