|3rd in Category Winner|
Hilton Langenhoven has endured a tough life.
Born in Somerset West as a visually-impaired albino, Langenhoven has faced adversity with every step, starting with the inability to see objects less than 3m away from him. But instead of letting it defeat him, Langenhoven turned to athletics as a way to escape the pain of his circumstances.
He has since gone on to establish himself as South Africa’s Paralympic golden boy, having represented Team SA in every Paralympics since the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Greece, where he won a silver medal in the men’s long jump.
|Albinism is a day-today challenge wherever you’re from, wherever you go and it all depends where. I’m glad to contribute towards that perception, that stigma about albinism in our country and in Africa as well.|
His performance in Beijing, where he won medals in the 200m, long jump, and pentathlon, was described as the “performance of the Games”. At 34-years old, Langenhoven beat the odds in Rio to successfully defend his F12 long jump gold medal and take silver in the T12 200m event.
His talent is undeniable, but it is his humility off the track and field that he is most applauded for.
“Albinos are known to be excluded from society and hidden in a box. If I can come out and say we don’t have to hide our disability, we can be powerful. We can motivate the nation.”