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Margaret Maughan: Trailblazing Paralympian dies aged 91

Maughan won the historic gold medal in archery at the 1960 Paralympic Games in Rome and participated in five other games.

She was a staunch defender of the Paralympic movement and lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Following a road accident in Malawi in 1959, Maughan was paralyzed from waist to toe. She was treated by Dr Ludwig Guttmann in the UK, a leading neurologist who founded the Paralympic movement.

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

“Although her death was extremely sad, the fact that she lived until the age of 91 is testimony to the work of Sir Ludwig Guttman which transformed the care of people with spinal cord injuries, and that, through sport, people with disabilities can enjoy a rich and fulfilling life.

Margaret Maughan lights the Paralympic cauldron before the London 2012 Games.
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“Margaret, we thank you and salute you for all you have done, and although we will miss you greatly, we will never forget you.”

In addition to her gold medal in archery, Maughan also competed in swimming, winning gold in the 50m backstroke at the 1960 Paralympic Games, when she was the only competitor in the event.

She also competed in darts, a hybrid of darts and archery, in 1972, and lawn balls in 1980.

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

“On behalf of British Para-Swimming, we are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Margaret Maughan,” said Chris Furber, National Performance Director for British Para-Swimming.

“She was a huge inspiration and helped pave the way for what the Paralympic movement has become.

“Watching her light the cauldron in London was an incredible moment and she will be greatly missed by everyone involved in para sports.”

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