Fred Creba #23
Frederick George (Fred) Creba broke his back in 1969 while clearing broken branches from a telephone line. The spinal injury resulted in him becoming a paraplegic at 24, paralysed from the waist down. Prior to his accident Fred had been a successful local runner and afterwards he took his very competitive attitude and approach into his new Para sports.
It did not take him long to get going again. Fred headed to the Toc-H gym, in Waimate to train. Resilient, he got a adapted weightlifting bench made and started to get his own gear, including weights.
Fred also started to compete in both the shot put and discus, but the bench press was where he had the most success.
At the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch Fred made the podium, with a silver medal in the bench press event. He went on to break his own Para weightlifting world record in 1975.
In that same year, his sporting performances earned him the title South Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year and was the first Para athlete to do so.
Fred made his Paralympic debut in Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games. It was a success as he won the bronze medal in the Men’s Light-Heavyweight. At the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games, Fred also competed in Para athletics, in the Men’s 400m 3, the discus, javelin and shot put all in the class 3.
Fred passed away in October 2013.
Mark Creba (son of Fred), officially received Fred’s ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin on his behalf in Christchurch in November 2021.