Our South African team of 45 athletes that are participating the Rio Paralympics 2016 make us proud and are an inspiration to us all. The diverse set of sports that they will be participating in includes archery, athletics, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, powerlifting, rowing, swimming, shooting and wheelchair tennis. Custom-made prosthesis coupled with a burning passion to succeed and an eager will to live life to the full has made it possible for these athletes to achieve ‘the impossible’. Let’s take a look at one of our most inspiring athletes that has made our country’s name shine with hope and pride.
Ntando Mahlangu deserves an accolade for three different reasons: he took home the silver medal for South Africa in the 200m for above-knee amputees, he has only been on prosthetesis for four years, and he is only 14 years old. Ntando was born with hemimelia which stopped his legs from developing under the knee and resulted in his decision to have both of his legs amputated at the age of 10.
The most common form of hemimelia is fibular hemimelia, a congenital longitudinal limb deficiency that is responsible for the abnormal growth or complete lack of growth of the fibular bone in either one or both legs. Some scientific evidence shows that the causes of hemimelia are due to disruptions during the critical period of embryonic limb development, between 4th and 7th week of gestation. Vascular dysgenesis, viral infections, trauma and environmental influences have been suggested as possible causes, though the list of further possible causes remains open and under investigation. Suffering from hemimelia is an extremely emotional experience and can call for many reconstructive surgeries in the legs and feet, before amputation as a last resort is decided on.
Ntando showed amazing recovery after his double amputation and was practising his running skills only 2 weeks after having his prosthetic limbs fitted. We are overwhelmed with excitement to see this prestigious athlete take his ambitious journey to the top of the world. Well done Ntando, we are so proud!
You may want to read more on How to Maintain an Active Lifestyle as an Amputee, or visit our website to find out more on the extensive selection of custom-made prosthetics that will best suit your circumstance.