Michele Macfarlane

Blind Athlete
Cape Town, South Africa
D.O.B: 19 April 1968



In 2005, Michele was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa - a deteriorating eye disease which may eventually lead to blindness. However, this ignited a spark to get out and tackle the world starting with Judo which she had been practicing socially prior as a way to spend time with the family. Setting a goal of competing in the Western Province Championships, Michele found herself qualifying to compete in the Nationals where she would win a silver medal in 2005.
"The tough training, which strengthens me, gives me the resilience to navigate the world as a disabled person".

As the years have gone on so Michele has continued to challenge herself and in doing so being a positive inspiration for those with disabilities. Michele put herself on stage at a Fitness SA bikini contest putting in months of training and discipline with her diet. She would soon find herself back on stage, this time at the theatre performing in a musical to which she said was more daunting than being on stage in a bikini. Among a number of articles, Michele has published a book and is very charismatic and confident when being an advocate for those with disabilities whether at a group function or in front of a camera. 

In 2019 Michele set herself a new challenge - to learn to surf, however the competitive spirit once again took over as she started pinpointing events she would like to enter and quickly found herself progressing to get better and selected to represent South Africa in the World Para Surfing Championships 2021 in the visually impaired category. Unfortunately Covid prevented the event from taking place however Michele has been selected to compete in the World Para Surfing Championships 2022 taking place in December.

blind surfing
Brief highlights of Michele's journey:

• SA Judo Nationals(Silver) 2005
• Book author - The Au Pai, 2012
• SA National Ms Fitness competition(Bronze) 2013
• Singer - Ripped Genes, 2018
• Western Province Para National Surfing Championships(Gold) 2021
• Durban Nationals Para Surfing Championships(Gold) 2021
• Selected to represent South Africa at Para Surfing World Championship 2021
• Selected to represent South Africa at Para Surfing World Championship 2022
• Motivational Speaker
• Writer & Freelance Journalist

Interested in partnering with Michele?



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