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Barbara Anderson, a class 1 tetraplegic, multidisciplinary, athlete competed for Great Britain at the inaugural Rome 1960 and Heidelberg 1972 Paralympic Summer Games winning five gold and two silver medals.

Margaret Maughan, Dick Thompson and Barbara Anderson returning from the Rome 1960 Paralympic Games

Margaret Maughan, Dick Thompson and Barbara Anderson returning from the Rome 1960 Paralympic Games. Image ©IWAS

Life as a Paralympic athlete

At the Tokyo 1960 Paralympic Games, Barbara’s four gold medals, three for swimming and one for table tennis put her second in the list of top Great Britain medallists, behind Dick Thompson.

Overall, Britain fielded the second largest delegation (behind Italy) for the Games and came second in the medal table with all British athletes winning a medal in every event they entered.

Returning to compete at the Heidelberg 1972 Paralympic Games, Barbara won a further gold for table tennis and two silvers in archery events. She also competed in the Women's Javelin 1B, Women's Discus Throw 1B, Women's 25 m Breaststroke 1B and Women's 25 m Backstroke 1B.

Achievements and awards

Paralympic Games

The Tokyo 1960 Paralympic Games saw Barbara win gold in the Women's 25 m Backstroke Complete class 1, Women's 25 m Breaststroke Incomplete class 1, Women's 25 m Crawl Incomplete class 1, and table tennis Women's Singles A events.

At the Heidelberg 1972 Paralympic Games she won gold in the table tennis Women’s Doubles 1A-1B with Jane Blackburn and two archery silvers for the Women’s St. Nicholas Round tetraplegic and Mixed St. Nicholas Round Team tetraplegic, with teammates Jane Blackburn and Tommy Taylor.

Other sporting events

Barbara competed at the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1958 as a ‘Stoke Mandeville Old Girl’, winning both the Class A breaststroke and backstroke events qualified her as a member of the first ever Great Britain team for the 1958 International Stoke Mandeville Games.

She also represented for Scotland at the Third Commonwealth Paraplegic Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1970 and the Fourth Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1974. 

References 

  • I. S. Brittain, From Stoke Mandeville to Stratford: A history of the Summer Paralympic Games, Champaign, Illinois, Common Ground Publishing, 2012https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Anderson_(athlete)
  • https://www.paralympicheritage.org.uk/rome-1960-paralympic-summer-games
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/sports/olympics/margaret-maughan-dead.html
  • https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Great_Britain_at_the_1960_Summer_Paralympics
  • https://artsandculture.google.com/story/FQXx9oVUAa7QmA
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960_Summer_Paralympics
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20171118154131/https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/30620096.pdf
  • https://paralympicanorak.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/stoke-mandeville-games-1958-reintroduction-of-a-national-games/
  • https://paralympicanorak.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/third-commonwealth-paraplegic-games-edinburgh-scotland-1970/