Summary

Glass and silver medal in case, awarded to Don Elgin in the Pentathlon at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships, Lille, France, 2002.

Obverse Description

Glass medal with a silver-coloured rim. Glass printed in colour with inscription and logo. Blue ribbon attached with black felt logos adhered to ribbon. In blue case with white fabric lining. Adhesive sticker inside case.

Significance

Don Elgin is a transtibial amputee. Over the last 12 years he has represented Australia at three Paralympics and three International Paralympic Committee World Championships. In the system used for classifying athletes in disabled sports, Don competes in the T44 Amputee (Single below-knee amputee) class.

Taken as a set, these four prostheses document the significant developments that have occurred in prosthetic technologies over the last three decades, and in the last fifteen years in particular. The medal recognises Don's highest achievement in his chosen discipline, the Pentathlon.

Don's prostheses also tell his own story. Born with a stump below his left knee, his fingers webbed together and no thumb on his left hand, he was encouraged by his parents to be active and pursue his inclination to sporting excellence. The child's leg is emblematic of the fact that Don was born disabled. The 1993 prosthesis is part of the story of his entry into the world of elite competition, while the legs he wore in Atlanta and Athens mark his struggle to be the best in the world. At Atlanta Don placed fourth and at Athens he won the bronze medal for the second consecutive Paralympics (he also placed third in the Pentathlon at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney).

Don's story, as told in interviews recorded with him by the Museum, demonstrates his drive to achieve at the highest level, and his refusal to accept that his disability might restrict his ability to do so.
Don won Silver medal for the Pentathlon at the 2002 International Paralympic Committee World Championships, his best individual result in an international competition.
Don has a website with his friend and fellow Paraylmpian, Tim Matthews, www.timanddon.com.au, where they advertise their services as speakers and briefly tell their life stories.

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