Jan Apel #171
Jan Apel is a well-known New Zealand Paralympic sailor. In 2000 she was diagnosed with a spinal cord condition which meant, over time, that she would lose the use of her legs. Jan was an out-patient at the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit when, in 2010, her physiotherapist suggested that Jan try out the newly-installed sailing simulator in order to regain her upper body strength.
This sparked the beginning of Jan’s sailing career and in the following year she teamed up with Paralympian #172 Tim Dempsey from Sailability Auckland. With the support of Yachting New Zealand, the pair made their debut at the World Championships in the Netherlands in 2011 where they qualified New Zealand for the London 2012 Paralympics and competed in the two person keelboat (SKUD18) event.
Jan received her ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in Wellington in November 2020.