The unstoppable Terence Parkin does it again

March 2019 - Renowned athlete and Olympic medallist, Terence Parkin, embarked on a mammoth 1120km fundraising challenge from 4 February to 15 February 2019.

This comes a year after Parkin, an ambassador for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, successfully completed a 902km marathon of cycling, swimming, running and canoeing in order to raise funds for the foundation, which were used for deaf and disabled children's Learn to Swim and Water Safety programmes.

During the months that followed his 2018 challenge, Parkin visited many schools for the Deaf in South Africa, giving water safety talks and swimming lessons.

Terence Parkin 1120km Challenge

This year, Parkin began his journey on 4 February 2019 at the St. Vincent School for the Deaf in Johannesburg; from there, he cycled 903km over 5 days, reaching Midmar Dam in KZN for the next stage of his fundraising marathon - the Midmar Mile.

Over the Midmar Mile weekend (9-11 February), Parkin swam a total of 17.8km. He also placed first in the category for swimmers aged 31 to 40.

Said Parkin following his victory, "I'm so thrilled. It's not about me, but it's about the charity I was swimming for. I enjoy being a role model to children and giving back."

Parkin then set off to run 80km over the next 3 days before taking on the 120km FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon. On his final run, from Albert Falls to Natal Canoe Club, Parkin fell and twisted his left ankle.

Undeterred by his swollen and painful ankle, Parkin, now on Day 11 of his epic challenge and the first day of the Dusi, took the decision to soldier on, with crutches in hand, and complete the Dusi.

Terence Parkin 1120km Challenge

On the last day of the Dusi Canoe Marathon, bad luck struck again when their canoe broke going down a rapid, forcing Parkin and team-mate, Mark Mulder, to walk the last 18km to the finish line.

Parkin, in a moon boot, and on crutches, with Mulder carrying what was left of their broken boat, then also swam a short distance (Rules & Regulations) to cross the finish line at the Blue Lagoon in Durban.

At the Dusi prizegiving, Parkin was honoured with the Chairman's Award for the heroic way he completed his 1120km fundraising journey for the Prince Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

First Car Rental is proud to have been Parkin's 1st choice in vehicle partnership for the second year running. We took care of all his transport needs throughout his 902 km Fund Raising Challenge in 2018, and his 1120 km Fund Raising Challenge this year for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. We salute your true purple heart, Terence Parkin.


Cycling: 903km over 5 days

  • 4 February: St Vincent School for the Deaf, Johannesburg to Frankfort (200km)
  • 5 February: Frankfort to Phuthaditjhaba (200km) and a visit to Thiboloha School for the Deaf and Blind
  • 6 February: Phuthaditjhaba to Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho (140km)
  • 7 February: Afriski Mountain Resort to Underberg (180km)
  • 8 February: Underberg to Midmar Dam (183km)

Swimming - Midmar Mile

  • 9-11 February: Midmar Mile event where Terence will swim 17.8km over 3 days


  • 11 February: Midmar Dam to Shooter's Hill (26km)
  • 12 February: Shooter's Hill to Albert Falls (27km)
  • 13 February: Albert Falls to Natal Canoe Club (27km) - Start of Dusi Canoe Marathon

Canoeing - Dusi Canoe Marathon:

  • 14 February: Natal Canoe Club to Dusi Bridge (40km)
  • 15 February: Dusi Bridge to Inanda Dam (44km)
  • 16 February: Inanda Dam to Blue Lagoon (36km)

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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