Isabel Newstead

Isabel Newstead, MBE (née Barr; 3 May 1955 – 18 January 2007) was a British paralympic athlete who competed at seven consecutive Paralympic Games from 1980 to 2004. Overall, Newstead won ten gold, four silver and four bronze medals in three different sports.[1] She was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.[2]

Isabel Newstead
Medal record
Representing  United Kingdom
Paralympic Games
Women's para swimming
Gold medal – first place 1980 Arnhem 25 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1980 Arnhem 25 m breastroke
Gold medal – first place 1980 Arnhem 25 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1984 Stoke Mandeville 25 m breaststroke
Gold medal – first place 1984 Stoke Mandeville 25 m butterfly
Gold medal – first place 1984 Stoke Mandeville 3 x 25 m individual medley
Silver medal – second place 1984 Stoke Mandeville 100 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1984 Stoke Mandeville 25 m backstroke
Bronze medal – third place 1984 Stoke Mandeville 25 m freestyle
Women's shooting para sport
Gold medal – first place 1984 Stoke Mandeville air pistol
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney air pistol
Gold medal – first place 2004 Athens air pistol
Bronze medal – third place 1988 Seoul air pistol
Women's para athletics
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul discus
Silver medal – second place 1984 Stoke Mandeville shot put
Silver medal – second place 1984 Stoke Mandeville discus
Silver medal – second place 1988 Seoul shot put
Bronze medal – third place 1988 Seoul javelin

CareerEdit

Isabel Barr was born in Glasgow, Scotland.[3] At the age of nineteen her spinal cord was damaged by a flu virus, which would eventually lead to tetraplegia, partial or complete paralysis of all four limbs.[1][3] Newstead had already competed at regional level before her illness and as part of her rehabilitation continued swimming.[4] Whilst swimming with the Port Glasgow Otters Swimming Club she was noticed by the British paraplegic swimming team.[3] Newstead moved to Harlow, Essex in the late seventies to work as a systems analyst with Rank Hovis McDougall.[1]

At her first 1980 Summer Paralympics in Arnhem, Newstead won three gold medals in the swimming pool.[2] At the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville she won three golds and a silver medal in the pool.[2] Most notably, Newstead also won a gold in the air pistol shooting event as well as silver medals in the shot put and discus events.[2]

Newstead did not compete in the swimming events at the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul due to health challenges.[3] However, she did win a silver medal in the shot put and two bronzes in the air pistol and javelin events.[2] She married John Newstead after the Seoul games, having previously competed as Isabel Barr.[4]

Newstead competed at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona and the 1996 Summer Paralympics in Atlanta, though she did not win any medals.[4] In Barcelona, an error by her coach led to her missing the final of one event, when she was in the lead after the preliminary rounds. In Atlanta, on the eve of the opening ceremony, Newstead fell from her wheelchair and required surgery on a broken hip.[4] Undeterred, she completed her event but finished outside the medals.[4]

At the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, Newstead won Gold in the air pistol SH1 category.[4] She defended her title four years later at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, setting a world-record score.[1][4] In The New Year Honours 2001 Newstead was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to Disabled Sport.[5]

In 2006 Newstead was diagnosed with cancer and died in January 2007.[4] She was in the process of training to defend her shooting title in Beijing and learning Mandarin.[4]

AwardsEdit

Inducted into Scottish Women in Sport Hall of Fame in 2018.[6]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Isabel Newstead". The Scotsman. 26 January 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Isabel Newstead". Scottish Sports Hall of Fame. 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Isabel Newstead". Scottish Disability Sport. 2007. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Isabel Newstead". British Paralympic Association. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  5. ^ "No. 56070". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 30 December 2000. pp. 20–20.
  6. ^ "Scottish Women in Sport Hall of Fame gets 8 new inductees". The National. Retrieved 23 September 2021.