35 year old Para cyclist Stephen Hills switched from competing on a two-wheeled bike to a trike in hopes of creating more opportunity for success in Para cycling competitions. That certainly was the case when Stephen made his international debut last year at three UCI Para Cycling Road World Cup events and culminating with the 2015 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships.
Stephen showed huge improvements over the three World Cup events topped off with two outstanding top six finishes at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships - 5th place in the Men’s T2 Time Trial and 6th in the Men’s T2 Road Race.
His goal however, did not stop here. The New Plymouth athlete aspired to represent New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and beyond that the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. When Stephen was selected as part of the New Zealand Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Team as the first ever trike Para cyclist he was thrilled! He went onto to represent his country amongst a stand out team of 31 Paralympians. The Team secured a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists – 9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze – beating its pre-Games target of 18 medals by 3 medals. The team finished 1st in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th). In Stephen's Paralympic debut in Rio he savoured the incredible atmosphere of the road racing. He produced great results placing 8th in both the Men’s T1-2 Road Time Trial and Men’s T1-2 Road Race.
Outside of Para cycling, Stephen likes working with his Dad on the family farm. Stephen enjoys spending time with people with disabilities to help them achieve their goals and aspirations.