Tui Rupe #67
Tui is a New Zealand Paralympian from Papakura. He is visually impaired and has run 177 marathons with his guide Paul Ryken. Tui represented New Zealand at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, running with his guide, PNZ Order of Merit Member Dave Currie. He was part of a team of 17 Paralympians who took home 17 medals.
Tui started sport and especially running as a schoolboy and has never stopped. He was born with a retinal condition resulting in a visual impairment. His vision got progressively worse and in 1990, Tui became legally blind.
Tui won the Maori Sports Award ‘Male athlete with a disability’ in 1993.
Tui has always been an active member of Papakura athletics club. He still holds New Zealand record for the 5,000m in the T11 class, a record he set in 1982.
His sporting heroes are the American Olympian Jesse Owens and New Zealand athletics legends Bill Baillie and John Davies.
He is a real role model for his family who proudly displays many photos of him on the walls in his house.
Tui’s best personal time in a marathon is 2h53. He ran the marathon at the 1986 World Championships Games for the Disabled in Sweden in 3h01. In 1992 in Japan he ran the first international marathon for the visually impaired in Miyazaki.
Tui officially received his ‘numbered’ pin as part of The Celebration Project in Auckland in July 2020. Paralympics New Zealand was invited in Tui’s home with his grandchildren and great grandchild to give him his unique numbered Paralympic pin and acknowledge his incredible achievements.