Anna Grimaldi

Anna won New Zealand’s first women’s field event gold medal at a Paralympic Games in 28 years


Photo credit - Getty Images

Gold medal, Women’s Long Jump T47, Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

4th place, Women’s 100m T47, Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Anna won New Zealand’s first women’s field event gold medal at a Paralympic Games in 28 years.  With one gold medal, Anna was New Zealand’s fifth leading medallist, standing out amongst a stand-out team of 31 Paralympians.

As New Zealand’s first Rio 2016 Paralympic medallist – and first gold medallist – of the Games, Anna’s completely unstudied reaction to her surprise win captured the hearts and minds of the New Zealand public. Her excitement and emotion kick-started the amazing journey the New Zealand public and media went on as they fell in love with the New Zealand Paralympic Team and followed their successes with an unrivalled passion and patriotism.

The achievements of Anna and her Rio team-mates have positively affected how the nation feels about itself and Anna’s story is not yet over, recently confirming plans to contest the 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships in London.

Anna has always loved playing and competing in sport from a very young age, playing netball and basketball. Para-Athletics however, is the sport that has provided Anna with opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to her. 

Anna came to the sport of Para-Athletics later in life. Attending a Paralympics New Zealand Talent Identification camp in Dunedin in late 2013 and has never looked back. From that moment on her life changed completely - for the better.

From first beginning Para-Athletics to attending her first IPC Athletics World Championships felt like a whirlwind to Anna. Only two years after coming into the sport she was standing on the podium with a bronze medal. 

Anna has loved every second of it, has made amazing friends, met incredible people and have pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could. Anna is looking forward to continuing the dream in Rio.

Anna is currently studying Quantity Surveying part time at Otago Polytechnic.