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Paralympian Profile

Lisa Adams #210

In February 2018, Lisa became the first woman in the world to play Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) nines on the world stage, at the Rugby League Commonwealth Championships with the New Zealand men’s squad. They finished second and she was also selected to be the New Zealand flag bearer.

Lisa began competing in Para athletics later that year, after an article about her playing rugby was spotted by Athletics New Zealand coach Raylene Bates. A few months later, Lisa attended a classification event in Hastings and was encouraged to try shot put and discus.

Lisa’s potential was obvious from her first throw, and at her first major competition just months later, won the national Para athletics shot put title. A year later at the 2019 NZ Track & Field Championships, Lisa broke the F37 shot put world record for the first time.

Just 18 months after first picking up a shot, Lisa was selected to represent New Zealand at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. In the Women’s Shot Put F37, competition Lisa broke her own world record three times and came away with the gold medal.

At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Lisa proved unstoppable by blowing her competition away in the Women’s Shot Put F37 final. On the way to her gold medal throw of 15.12m, Lisa broke the Paralympic Record four times over in one of the standout New Zealand Paralympic Team performances.

In 2023, Lisa retained her World Champion title with a gold medal in the Women’s F37 Shot Put event. In a dominant performance, she reached 14.84m in the final round, adding 4cm to her championship record performance from 2019.

Lisa is motivated by her son Hikairo, and her desire to show him that he too can give something a go and work hard to achieve his goals.

Lisa commutes between Auckland – training at AUT Millennium – and her home in Rotorua, where her old school, Rotorua Lakes High, has installed a shot put stop board for her training.

Lisa’s shot put performance at Tokyo 2020 can be seen from 22 seconds into the video.
Paralympic Results
Paralympic GamesResult
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
  • Gold – Women’s Shot Put F37

  • 7th – Women’s Discus Throw F38


  • home icon

    Hometown: Rotorua

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    Born: 18 November 1990

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    Ethnicity: Tongan, English

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    Eligible Impairment: Hypertonia

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    Health Condition: Cerebral palsy (left hemiplegia)

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    Coach: Dame Valerie Adams

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    Classification: F37

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    Games Year: Tokyo 2020

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    Medals Won: 1 Gold

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    Para Sport: Para athletics

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