BENSON Johanna < Back  
Sport Para Athletics
CGA Namibia   
Gender Women
Born 17 Feb 1990 in Walvis Bay, NAM
Height1.65 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment Congenital
Further Personal Information
Residence Walvis Bay, NAM
Occupation Athlete, Human Resources
Languages Afrikaans, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She took up the sport in 2006 at the Kuisebmond Secondary School in Walvis Bay, Namibia.
Why this sport? In 2008 she was spotted competing in a school race by Tsire Tsauseb, the former president of the Namibia Sports Federation for People with Disabilities. He encouraged her to take up the sport seriously and became her first coach.
Name of coach Michael Hamukwaya [national], ZAM
International Debut
Year 2010
Competing for Namibia
Tournament Commonwealth Games
Location Delhi, IND
General Interest
Most influential person in career Her mother, and former coach Barbara Fernandes. (southerntimesafrica.com, 06 Nov 2020; Athlete, 23 Oct 2015; Athlete, 26 Aug 2012)
Hero / Idol Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Kenyan middle distance runner David Rudisha, her parents. (namibian.com.na, 12 May 2016; Athlete, 23 Oct 2015)
Injuries She was affected by an injury to her leg ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (namibian.com.na, 12 May 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Do not give up and never stop trying. Some days it looks as if you will never make it, and the next it all happens." (indhoek.sites.unicnetwork.org, 06 Apr 2016)
Awards and honours In 2017 she was named Para Sportswoman of the Year at the African Union Sports Council [AUSC] Region Five Annual Sports Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa. (newera.com.na, 29 May 2017)

She was named Para Sportswoman of the Year in Namibia in 2010 and 2016. (namibtimes.net, 04 Nov 2016; namibiasport.com.na, 31 Oct 2010)

She was Namibia's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (myinfo.rio2016.com, 06 Sep 2016)

In 2015 she received a Sporting Achievement Award from Disability Sport Namibia. (namibiansun.com, 19 Oct 2015)

She was nominated for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with an Impairment. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)

In 2013 a street in Walvis Bay, Namibia, was renamed Johana Benson Street in recognition of her gold medal win in the T37 200m at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (paralympic.org, 16 Sep 2015; paralympic.org, 14 Dec 2012)
Milestones In 2012 she became the first person representing Namibia to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games when she was victorious in the T37 200m in London. (paralympic.org, 16 Sep 2015; paralympic.org, 14 Dec 2012)
Impairment She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age five months. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)