Johanna Benson is no stranger to the sound of a roaring crowd. This decorated athlete has represented Namibia at many national and international sporting competitions. Today on 6 April 2016,the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Johanna and the important role she plays an athlete in Namibia.
The International Day of Sport for Peace and Development is an international observance that raises awareness of sport as a cost-effective and flexible tool in promoting peace and development objectives. Specifically this year, the observance focuses on the role of sport in achieving the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to reach a future of peace, justice, dignity and opportunity for all people.
Hailing from Walvis Bay, Johanna began running at a young age and has loved athletics ever since she was a little girl. She began taking part in competitions across Namibia and never let her disability stop her from chasing her dream and leaving her competition in the dust as she zoomed across the finish line.
One day, Johanna was asked to join Namibia’s disability team. She says, “This led to a new chapter of my life, from in-house competitions in Walvis Bay to Olympics in London 2012.”
Johanna has taken home many medals for her athletic performances. She holds a gold medal in the 200m T37 race and a silver medal in the 100m T37 race from the London Games, making her the first Namibian to win a gold medal on the Olympic stage. She also holds many other championship titles. Continue reading