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Paralympian Profile

Paula Tesoriero MNZM #168

Paula Tesoriero, New Zealand Paralympian

Paula Tesoriero achieved at the highest level in Para cycling winning a gold and two bronze medals at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, as well as winning two World Championships titles in 2009. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009 for services to cycling.

Paula has an in-depth understanding of the Paralympic Games environment both as a Paralympian and as Chef de Mission leading the New Zealand Paralympic Team at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Paula was also a reporter for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games broadcast, bringing the incredible stories of success into the homes of Kiwis.

Paula was the New Zealand Disability Rights Commissioner from 2017-2022. She has a rich understanding of issues affecting disabled New Zealanders, including stigma and attitudes. She is passionate about the Paralympic Movement and its ability to change perceptions and transform society.

Whaikaha – the Ministry for Disabled People – appointed Paula as its inaugural Chief Executive in 2022.

Paula was inducted as a Sport Legend of Wellington in 2022.

Paula received her ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in Wellington in November 2020.

Paralympic Results
Paralympic GamesResult
Beijing 2008
  • Gold - Track 500m Time Trial LC3-4/CP3

  • Bronze - Track Individual Pursuit LC3-4/CP3

  • Bronze - Road Individual Time Trial LC3-4/CP3


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    Hometown: Wellington

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    Born: 29 August 1975

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    Eligible Impairment: Limb deficiency

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    Health Condition: Left below knee amputee (congenital)

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    Classification: LC3/C3

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    Games Year: Beijing 2008

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    Medals Won: 1 Gold, 2 Bronze

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    Para Sport: Para cycling

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