Triathlete, Craig Dietz, triumphed against all odds. His completion of the coveted Midmar Mile proved that physical setbacks were not the end of the world. Set just outside Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, the Midmar Mile attracts hundreds upon hundreds of swimmers from across the globe and this American athlete proved that he would dominate anything he set his mind to, despite the challenge it posed.
The Midmar Mile welcomes physically impaired entrants into a dedicated category where Dietz competed among 180 other inspirational athletes. His first appearance was in 2013 upon accepting an invitation from Convenor, Wayne Ridden. Ridden had attended the World Open Water conference in the United States of America, recognising Dietz’ talent and potential. Head of the ‘Learn to Swim’ initiative, Odette Randelhoff, assisted Dietz at first and has watched him grow from strength to strength in his sporting career.
Describing his impairment, Dietz mentioned that he was born without limbs but that had never stopped him from living life to the fullest. He described his close-knit family as the foundation upon which he built his own success, like any other athlete. Dietz also had a message to share with youth and onlookers at the event: “[do] not allow your circumstances to define who you are”.