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Isabel Newstead


1955 - 2007

Paralympic athlete. Born Isabel Barr in Glasgow, Newstead was raised in Renfrewshire. As a girl she swam competitively but in her late teens her spinal cord was damaged by a virus and she lost the use of her limbs. In 1975, she joined a Port Glasgow swimming club as part of her rehabilitation programme and was eventually drawn to the attention of Britain's paraplegic team.

She made her Paralympic debut in Arnhem in 1980 and went on to compete at seven Games, in events as diverse as swimming, discus and shooting. At Arnhem she won three gold medals and a silver in the pool, a feat repeated when the games came to Britain four years later. However, it is for her skill in air-pistol shooting she is probably best remembered. In this event she won three Paralympic gold medals (1996, 2000 and 2004) and a bronze (1988), together with World gold (1990 and 2002) and silver medals (1994 and 1998). She gained a new world-record score in Sydney in 2000.

Newstead was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honour's list of 2001. She died in Harlow (Essex) having suffered from cancer.


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