Few New Zealanders have done more to advance the cause of Para sport than six-time Paralympic medallist Graham Condon (NZ Paralympian #4).
The only Kiwi to have appeared at six successive Paralympic Games, the Cantabrian’s proud international career straddled four decades and post-career he played a key role in the development of Para sport in a series of administrative positions.
Born and raised in Christchurch, Graham contracted polio at the age of four and missed a significant amount of schooling.
However, he found great freedom through recreational swimming and shortly after leaving school at the age of 15 he was introduced to competitive Para swimming through Leo Close, an Irish priest and NZ Paralympian #3.
Naturally driven with a fierce competitive instinct, he made rapid gains and at the age of 19 made his international debut at the Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympics in Israel.
For the teenager from the Christchurch suburb of Papanui, it was ...