Skip navigation
9

Introduction

Ernst van Dyk LW“Losing a limb is a traumatic and life-changing experience. Your body is permanently altered, almost all aspects of your life are affected, and you may feel that no one could possibly understand what you’re going through. The information that follows is a brief, practical introduction to a new life after limb loss, and will show that you are not alone. With the help of modern technology, the pioneering performances of Paralympic athletes and the example of thousands of ordinary, determined people, those of us who have lost limbs are starting torealise that they can lead rich, fulfilling lives and achieve things that were almost unimaginable to previous generations.” − Ernst van Dyk

Ernst van Dyk was born with congenital absence of both legs. Despite his disability, he demonstrated an affinity for sports codes of all kinds from an early age and was encouraged by his parents to participate in a wide range of activities, including gymnastics, swimming and even table tennis. His determination drove him to win the wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon a record-setting ten times, and in 2006 he received the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award for best sportsperson with a disability.

He has competed in seven Paralympic Games, winning multiple medals including a gold medal in Rio 2016. In 2010 he was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga by the president of South Africa. Not content with his achievements in sports, Ernst insists that one of his biggest personal accomplishments was being the first person with a disability to graduate with a degree in Sports Science from Stellenbosch University.

He has served on various bodies, including the IPC Sport Science Commission. In 2015 he joined Össur, where he is currently the National Sales Manager.