When Arnu Fourie was little he wanted to play rugby for the Springboks. In 2003 he signed a contract with the Golden Lions Rugby Union, but fate had other plans for him. Fourie was involved in a boating accident and lost his left leg below the knee. At first he was devastated, but his love of sport and encouragement from loved ones led him to the athletics track. Adaptation was slow. He initially lost most of his races by more than 10m but after a year of hard work he found himself featuring in the top three in most 100m and 200m events. Fourie fared well in the 2012 Paralympics, bringing home a 100m bronze medal, but his most treasured moment was being a member of the winning 4x100m relay team “… singing our national anthem … seeing our country’s flag being raised … just thinking about this still brings tears to my eyes,” he says.

— Fatima Asmal

Twitter: @arnufourie