British para archer Margaret Maughan, lighter of the Paralympic flame at London 2012, dies aged 91

22 May 2020
She started archery in Stoke Mandeville, where the Paralympic movement began.

Header image via the International Paralympic Committee/Getty Images.

Great Britain’s first Paralympic Champion, archer Margaret Maughan, has died at the age of 91.

An active promoter of para sport, Margaret made her Paralympic debut at the first Games in Rome in 1960, where she took gold over the Columbia round in the B1 class.

Maughan started archery at the home of the Paralympic movement.

She was treated by the founder of the Games, Dr Ludwig Guttmann, at the National Spinal Injuries Centre in Stoke Mandeville after a road accident in Malawi left her paralysed from the waist down.

Margaret competed in archery, bowls, dartchery and swimming, winning four gold and two silver medals across five Paralympic Games. Her last came in Arnhem in 1980.

Her sporting legacy, and subsequent career as a para coach and advocate for para sport, was recognised when she was chosen to light the Paralympic cauldron at London 2012​.

British Paralympic Association chair Nick Webbon said: “Although her passing is extremely sad, the fact that she lived until the age of 91 is testament to the work of Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who transformed the care of people with spinal cord injuries so that through sport, people with disabilities can enjoy rich ad fulfilling lives.”

“Margaret, we thank you and salute you for all that you did. And, although we will miss you tremendously, we will never forget you.”