Paul Jesson #125
Paul Jesson became the first New Zealand cyclist to win a stage at a grand tour of the 1980 Vuelta a España. As a professional athlete, Paul was training for the Tour de France. In his final preparations, he was involved in an accident during an event, colliding with a parked car that was not supposed to be on the course. As a result of the crash Paul is now a single leg amputee.
After his incident he continued to ride recreationally up until the 1990s when he made the decision to pursue Para cycling all the way to the Paralympic Games. Paul competed in Para sport for the first time in 1998. He became New Zealand’s first ever World Champion at the IPC World Para Cycling World Championships – winning 2 World Championship titles at one event. These titles and gold medals were won in the Men’s 4000m Paralympic Pursuit LC3 and 18km Time Trial LC3.
2 years later, Paul qualified for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games where he made his Paralympic debut. He competed in the Mixed Track 1 km Time Trial LC3, Mixed Track Individual Pursuit LC3 and Mixed Road Bicycle Road Race LC3. In the Individual Pursuit LC3 Paul narrowly missed out on a medal in the final round. Paul returned to the following Paralympic Games in Athens 2004 alongside fellow teammate Paralympian #154 Fiona Southorn. Paul had an impressive performance in the Men’s Road Race / Time Trial Bicycle LC3 bringing home a bronze medal.
Paul’s achievements are celebrated as part of the Para Cycling Walk of Champions at the Avantidrome in Cambridge.
Find out more about Paul on his biography: “’Oh, THAT Tour’ The Paul Jesson Story“ by Des Williams.