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Paralympian Profile

William Stedman #208

Hayden Preston running 10km

William was the youngest member of the Para athletics team to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at only 16 years of age. He has always loved sport and clearly remembers watching the London 2012 Paralympics. This is where his dream started. William was so inspired by watching the Paralympics he decided he was going to become a Para athlete.

He started training in middle to long distance and joined an athletics club when he returned home. Over the following 2 years he attended several Paralympics New Zealand Para Athletics Development camps. At the start of 2015 William competed at his first international event, the IPC Grand Prix in Queensland. This followed with competing at the Oceania Championships in Cairns, winning three gold medals and one silver medal. William was thrilled to be selected for the New Zealand and competed at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, achieving top 10 finishes in the long jump and the 200m.

Men’s Long Jump – T36 Final | Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

William made an outstanding Paralympic debut in Rio in September 2016. He won two bronze medals and contributed to the New Zealand Paralympic Team’s stunning 21 medal-haul accumulated by 12 individual medallists in 2016 (9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze). The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).

Since then, William has continued his dominance on the track, winning silver at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in the Men’s 800m T36 and bronze at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in the Men’s 400m T36.

William was selected as a leader and named Hāpai Kara of the New Zealand Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020. He produced some outstanding displays on the track and field, winning silver in the Men’s Long Jump – T36 and bronze in the Men’s 400m – T36 Final. His jump of 5.64 was a Personal Best and Oceania Record.

Silver medals at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships

In Paris 2023, William upgraded the bronze medals he won in the T36 400m at the previous edition of these championships in Dubai in 2019 as well as at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Completing the race in 53.62, he won the silver medal. It was the second fastest 400m performance of his career – just 0.07 shy of his national record mark.

An Oceania record long jump of 5.71m (+0.5) in round two secured William a second silver medal.

William officially received his ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin at the ParaFed Canterbury Sports Awards in Christchurch in November 2021.

William was named a Harvey Norman Para Sport Champion in 2024.

Paralympic Results
Paralympic GamesResult
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
  • Bronze – Men’s 400m T36

  • Silver – Men’s Long Jump T36

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
  • Bronze – Men’s 400m T36

  • Bronze – Men’s 800m T36

  • 5th – Men’s Long Jump T36

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    • Hometown: Christchurch

    • Born: 5 December 1999

    • Eligible Impairment: Ataxia

    • Health Condition: Cerebral palsy

    • Coach: George Edwards

    • Classification: T36

    • Games Year: Paris 2024, Tokyo 2020, Rio 2016

    • Medals Won: 1 Silver, 3 Bronze

    • Para Sport: Para athletics

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