Pieter du Preez The first quadriplegic to complete the Ironman Triathlon
All his dreams were still there, just slightly changed. He would just have to approach them differently from that day on. “People all looked at what was taken away from me and what I didn’t have anymore, whereas I really looked at what I still had – all the new things and new opportunities and challenges that I would pursue,” says UJ alumnus Pieter du Preez, C6 quadriplegic and professional para-athlete. Even as he was lying motionless on the tar after a car knocked him off his bicycle, he was extremely calm and somehow knew that everything was going to be fine. In 2003, when he was a 23-year old postgraduate student working towards his Honour’s degree in Investment Management at the then RAU, the accident that brought his life to a temporary standstill left him with a broken neck, femur and knee. “It is a strange thing to explain, but a lot of things happened to me before the accident and it was almost as if I was prepared for what happened on that day. As a Christian, I knew everything was going to be fine as long as I held on to my faith and as long as I kept believing in myself.”
Pieter du Preez with his young son Pietman. To be a role model for Pietman and a good husband for his wife is what motivates him and pushes him forward.
UJ ALUMNUS PIETER DU PREEZ TALKS ABOUT HOW HE OVERCAME THE DEVASTATING INJURIES AFTER BEING KNOCKED OFF HIS BICYCLE BY A CAR TO BECOME A WORLD- RENOWNED PARA-ATHLETE.
He was always that guy who believed in big dreams, who
believed he could get to the top and be the best in the world. There was never any doubt in his mind that as a quadriplegic he could compete in sport as competitively as he did before the accident.
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