First Car Rental Drives Terence Parkin 902km Fundraiser

Terence Parkin

Terence Parkin, South African swimmer and the Deaflympics' most successful athlete.

February 2018 - This weekend, Terence Parkin will have completed an incredible test of stamina and grit to raise money for a Deaf Children's - Learn to Swim and Water Safety Programme, and First Car Rental was proud to sponsor the support transport that ensured Parkin travelled safely on and off road with all his equipment on hand.

From 15 to 17 February 2018, the 2000 Olympic silver medallist and record-setting Deaflympics athlete, Terence Parkin, will have concluded a mammoth 902km journey from Johannesburg to Durban in aid of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, ending his fundraiser by paddling the 2018 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Parkin cycled a 5-day, 723km mountain bike cycle tour from Johannesburg to Midmar, where he then swam 13km during the Midmar Mile this past weekend. He then completed a 33km run, and will end off with the 124km, 3-day Dusi Canoe Marathon in a K2 this weekend. It's an enormous challenge to his ability as an athlete but he was up for the test, in the name of a worthy cause to raise R100 000.

Terence Parkin 902km Challenge

From left: Parkin ready to cycle, swim, run and paddle 902km; Nearing the end of his 723km cycle; Parkin with his daughters at 2018 aQuelle Midmar Mile.

Said Parkin, "I am an ambassador for Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation that aims to save lives by reducing drowning through water safety programmes, and I am bringing this to deaf children across South Africa. I need to raise funds so that the programmes can be implemented in schools for the deaf and in deaf communities. I hope to create awareness, too."

Parkin starts his run from Midmar to Camps Drift, the start of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

For a seven-time Dusi veteran, paddling training was on the back-burner due to his hardcore mountain biking schedule. Parkin will be paddling with a Dusi veteran in the form of 15-time finisher, Mark Mulder.

"I have been doing a lot of training, mainly cycling and swimming, not much paddling though, but I am confident I will manage as Mark will be in front, and I'll be in the back," the 33-time Deaflympics medal winner said.

Parkin, who has taken to adventure racing, decided to make this journey one to remember and tried to make it as punishing as possible for himself.

"I was inspired by the ELB Extreme Challenge, which is a race between runners in a relay and cyclists from Golden Gate to Afriski. I have done the Joburg to PMB race twice and the Golden Gate to Afriski race once. Despite this, I was feeling a bit nervous about the mountain biking leg of my 902km challenge because some of the terrain to Afriski can be tough, but all done and dusted, and I loved it," Parkin added.

Terence Parkin 902km Challenge

From left: Parkin and his support team arrive at Sani Pass; SuperSpar Underberg treat Parkin and team to breakfast; Parkin arrives at Midmar.

Her Serene Highness, Princess Charlene of Monaco, endorsed Terence's initiative and is proud of his energy and commitment to the cause of water safety and drowning prevention, which is a key focus of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

Fellow Olympian, swimmer and CEO of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, Ryk Neethling, says that the Foundation is behind Parkin 100% and encourages other South Africans to lend their support to this worthy cause.

Said Neethling, "Terence was known as one of the toughest athletes in world swimming which is still evident in this attempt, we can all be inspired by him. He is paving the way for youngsters across our country to live their dreams, no matter what the odds."

For more information on the Foundation, please visit their website here.
To donate, please click here.

About Terence Parkin


  • Terence Parkin was born 12 April 1980 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He is a deaf swimmer from South Africa. Terence has a sporting career spanning 15 years and has competed internationally and professionally for 11 of these.
  • Terence is the Deaflympics' most successful athlete since its inception 1929. He has accumulated 29 gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal (for cycling) at 4 Deaflympic Games meetings. Terence currently holds 50 Deaf World records in the long and short-course pool. He is referred to as the 'Silent Torpedo' and the Michael Phelps of the Deaflympics.
  • Terence took a break from swimming for a few years and entered a number of triathlons and cycling races. He won the World Deaf Cycling Championships in the 120km road race in California, 2005. Locally, he has competed in many major sporting evenings: Dusi Canoe Marathon, Sani2C, Amashova, 94.7, etc.
  • Terence has received the following awards nationally and internationally: World Deaf Sportsman of the Year (1997, 2000, 2001, 2005), CISS Sportsman of the Century (2000), SA Schools Sportsman of the Year (2002), Gold Presidential Awards (2000, 2001, 2002).
  • Terence's success can be attributed to his sheer will and dedication to training. He spends hours a day either in the water or on his bicycle. It is very rare for Terence to miss a day of some form of training.
  • Terence has changed the face of Deaf sport internationally, setting a standard that other Deaf sportspeople strive to attain. Many Deaf swimmers' main goal at the Deaflympics is to beat Terence. Other regular sportsmen, such as Roland Schoeman, have commented that they do not understand the amount of training Terence is able to complete in a day, they would break under that strain.
  • In 2011, Parkin saved a young boy from drowning.

  • He has amassed more than 400 gold medals, 200 silver medals and 50 bronze medals during this time. Some of the highlights are:
  • • Sydney Olympics 2000, Silver medal 200m breast stroke
  • • 30 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 10 bronze medals at the SA National Champs between 1996 and 2006.
  • • Goodwill Games (1 gold)
  • • 2 x Commonwealth Games (Kuala Lampur and Manchester) - silver medal
  • • All Africa Games (4 gold medals, 3 records)
  • • Pan Pacific Champs (Bronze)
  • • Deaflympics, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2009: 29 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze (for cycling)
  • • Midmar Mile - two-time winner

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