Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Fans vote Holly Robinson as winner of The Visa Award - Paralympics

The Paralympic gold medallist from New Zealand was awarded the prize for the way she included competition officials after her victory celebrations 10 Sep 2021
THE SMILE SAYS IT ALL: Holly Robinson of Team New Zealand poses with her gold medal after she competes in the women's javelin - F46 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
THE SMILE SAYS IT ALL: Holly Robinson of New Zealand poses with her gold medal after winning the women's javelin - F46 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
ⒸDean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee and Worldwide Olympic Partner Visa have announced that New Zealand's Holly Robinson is to receive The Visa Award - Paralympics.

The Visa Award is an accolade that celebrates uplifting moments from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic and Olympic Games that occur outside of the field of play; moments that represent the very best of humanity and display qualities of inclusion, courage and friendship.

Robinson, who took home gold in the women’s javelin F46 event, was recognised by fan vote on the Tokyo 2020 FanZone platform as having shown those traits when, after winning the Paralympic title, she went out of her way to thank match officials.

As part of her prize, Visa will give Holly the opportunity to choose an eligible charity to which Visa will donate $50,000 USD in an effort to directly impact the community and promote equality and inclusion.

The 26-year-old came to Tokyo 2020 as a woman on a mission.

After taking the silver in the javelin at Rio 2016, her eyes were firmly fixed on bagging the top prize in Japan.

With a clutch 40.99m throw the Kiwi leapfrogged the field, and when none of her rivals could match her effort, Holly finally clinched the gold she had long been waiting for.

It was a moment of individual brilliance but New Zealander did not spend long indulging in her special moment.

So grateful was Holly for those that had made the competition possible that after her celebration she walked over to the official’s table to thank them.

The officials were so touched by the Kiwi’s gesture of inclusion they subsequently reached out to New Zealand’s Chef de Mission to let them know the impact the moment had on them.

Perhaps the most powerful part of Holly’s appreciation of the officials is that, following her special moment, every Paralympian from New Zealand also began to show their own gratitude to those on the sides ensuring the event could go ahead as planned.

JUBILANT: Silver medalist Noelle Roorda (L) of Team Netherlands celebrates with gold medallist Holly Robinson of New Zealand following the women's javelin throw - F46 final. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Here is what Holly had to say after she learnt she would be the recipient of the prize:

“I’m super stoked to be named the winner of The Visa Award based off my moment of gratitude to the officials in Tokyo."

“Now I want to say a huge thank you to everybody who voted for me. This is going to make a huge impact towards my chosen charity, so thank you so much.”

“Thank you to The Visa Award for spreading the values of inclusion, acceptance, courage and friendship through this award,” the Paralympic champion continued."

“And a huge thank you to everyone involved in Tokyo 2020. You guys put on an amazing Games and we athletes are truly thankful that we got our chance to shine on the big stage.”

“Thank you to the volunteers, the officials and the organisers for putting on such an awesome Games. Thank you so much and thank you everybody for voting for me."