Graham Condon QSM #4
Graham Condon is one of the most respected Kiwi Para athletes for his devotion and commitment to Para sport. He was seen daily pushing around Christchurch, training in excess of 20 kilometres a week on the road as well as on regular track, field and swimming training lessons.
Graham contracted polio at the age of 4 in 1953 and as a result missed considerable schooling in his earlier years.
Graham made his Paralympic debut in 1968, as a member of New Zealand’s very first Paralympic Team competing at the Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympic Games. It was the beginning of a very successful career. He won his first Paralympic medal 4 years later at the Heidelberg 1972 Paralympic Games: a gold in discus 3. In total, Graham won 6 Paralympic medals. He is the only New Zealand Paralympian who has competed at 6 consecutive Paralympic Games, from Tel Aviv 1968 to Seoul 1988.
In 2001 Graham was awarded the Queen Service Medal. The same year, both Graham and his wife Kathy Condon received the Paralympics New Zealand Order of Merit for their outstanding services to Paralympic sport.
Graham and Kathy were also great supporters to many emerging Para athletes. They also helped establish Parafed Canterbury and were on the Paralympics New Zealand Board.
Graham died suddenly in 2007 at the age of 58 after a car collided with his three-wheeled bicycle during a training session. It is early Paralympians such as Graham that have paved the way for future Paralympians to succeed today and in the future.