Canadian Paralympian Sarah Baker passes away

Canadian Paralympic Committee

July 08, 2024

The Nova Scotia native won three medals at 1980 Games

Nova Scotia sports trailblazer Sarah Baker, a triple medallist at the Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games, passed away last week in New Zealand after a battle with cancer.

Baker, from Seabright, N.S., won two gold medals in Para athletics in Arnhem, Netherlands, placing first in women’s javelin and discus. The versatile athlete also added a bronze in the pool in the women’s 100 freestyle.

Sarah Baker competing in the Women's Javelin at the Arnhem 1980 Paralympics.
Sarah Baker in action at the Arnhem 1980 Paralympics (Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame)

The youngest of four children, Baker was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at seven years old. At age 14 she contracted meningococcal septicemia and had to have both of her legs amputated.

She was already a multi-talented athlete before her amputations and that thirst for sport continued afterwards as she starred in track and field, swimming and wheelchair basketball. Besides the Paralympics, she also competed at several international events and set several world records.

Baker was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

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