Neroli Fairhall

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Neroli Fairhall
Neroli Fairhall.jpg
Medal record
Women's archery
Representing  New Zealand
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1982 Brisbane FITA Double

Neroli Susan Fairhall, MBE (26 August 1944 – 11 June 2006) was a New Zealand athlete, who was the first paraplegic competitor in the Olympic Games.


Born in Christchurch in 1944, Fairhall took up archery following a motorbike accident which paralysed her from the waist down, ending her previous athletic career. She was able to compete in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, shooting for New Zealand and finishing in 35th place. Fairhall was the first paraplegic to compete in the Olympic Games.[1]

Fairhall won gold when archery was first introduced to the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982.

A national champion for many years, Fairhall won medals and held titles at the Paralympics, IPC-Archery World Championships and many international tournaments. She participated in four Summer Paralympics, in 1972, 1980, 1988, and 2000. At her first Paralympic Games she competed in track and field athletics.[2] At the 1980 Games, she took part in both athletics and archery, winning a gold medal in the latter sport. At the 1988 and 2000 Paralympics she competed in archery only.[3]

Fairhall was awarded an MBE for services to the sport. She continued to coach at her Christchurch archery club after retiring from shooting. She died on 11 June 2006, aged 61, due to illness arising from her disability.[1]

See also[edit]


  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Neroli Fairhall". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
David Barnes and Hamish Willcox
Lonsdale Cup of the New Zealand Olympic Committee
Succeeded by
David Barnes and Hamish Willcox