Jenny Newstead MBE #81
In the 90’s Para swimmer Jenny Newstead became a household name after making her Paralympic debut at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games. Jenny competed in 5 events at the Paralympic Games and returned home with a medal from each single event. She won 4 Gold medals: in the Women’s 200 m Medley SM5, 100 m Freestyle S5, 50 m Freestyle S5 and Backstroke S5. She also won a silver in the Women’s 100 m Breaststroke SB4. The New Zealand Team competing at Barcelona 1992 won a total of 6 medals, 5 of them were brought by this incredible Para swimmer.
In the following years Jenny returned to the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games with the competitive spirit she showed in Barcelona and won another 5 medals. She won Gold in the Women’s 200 m Freestyle S6, 100 m Backstroke S6 and 100 m Breaststroke SB4. She also claimed silver in the Women’s 200 m Medley SM5 and bronze in the Women’s 100 m Freestyle S6.
Winning a total of 7 Gold, 2 Silver, and 1 Bronze medals across her outstanding career competing at the Paralympic Games, Jenny definitely made New Zealand history.
She has muscular dystrophy and retired from international competition in 1997 after two shoulder replacements and a head injury.
In 2016, Jenny came out of retirement and became a coach at the Dunedin Gymnastic Academy. Two years later, aged 50, Jenny takes another gold, this time in Gym sports at the Otago Community Trust New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin, in trampoline and tumbling. She is particularly proud of her achievements as she had to compete against able bodied athletes at this event.
Jenny officially received her ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in Dunedin in February 2021.