Games type: Summer Paralympic Games
Games year: Tokyo 2020
Para sport: Para cycling
Gender: Female
Date of Birth1 November 1989
CoachStuart MacDonald
Eligible impairmentLoss of muscle power
Health conditionIncomplete spinal cord injury

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Sarah Ellington- Para Cyclist


In 2015, Sarah Ellington fell from an apple tree, fracturing her T11 and T12 vertebrae, and had just a 2% chance of walking again.

She was paralysed from the waist down and spent a long time in the Auckland Spinal Rehab Unit trying to regain movement of her legs. Sarah can now walk again, however has an incomplete paraplegia resulting in a loss of muscle power in both legs, and restricted ankle movement.

Before her injury, she raced triathlons and half ironman events, but with running now off the cards, Para cycling is allowing her to compete on the world stage.

Since her international debut at the 2017 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships, Sarah has competed at multiple World Championships and earned qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Sarah was a key member of the New Zealand Paralympic Team at Tokyo 2020, serving as one of a small group of athletes to provide an athlete voice to the Chef de Mission and Leadership Group. On the Velodrome, Sarah set a Personal Best time of 4:12.506 in the Women’s C1-3 3000m Individual Pursuit. Sarah then demonstrated her skills on the road, placing 10th and 12th respectively in the Women’s C1-3 Time Trial and Women’s C1-3 Road Race.

In the 2023 World Cycling Championships, Sarah placed 7th in the C2 Omnium on the track, and 6th in the Individual Time Trial on the road.

Sarah was elected to the inaugural Paralympics New Zealand Athletes’ Council in November 2021, and was then elected as Chair of the Council when it first met.

Photo gallery

Paralympic results

2020Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games11th - Women's C1-3 3000m Individual Pursuit
10th - Women's C1-3 Time Trial
12th - Women's C1-3 Road Race

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