Gold-medal winning champ lives in a South African squatter camp

Pretoria – Irene van Niekerk is a 15-year-old runner who lives in a squatter camp near Pretoria, South Africa. She has won, in total, 27 gold medals, but owns no shoes.

Irene is a young Afrikaans girl who lives in a shack in a squatter camp near Pretoria, South Africa. They have no electricity or running water, and Irene owns no shoes.

She runs barefoot, because the shoes that were custom-designed for Irene were stolen by a drug addict. The shoes were custom-designed because Irene lost most of her toes in an accident as a child, when boiling water spilled on her feet.

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