Stephen “Stevo” Hills #196
|Date of Birth||15 December 1981|
|Health condition||Right hemiplegia (caused by traumatic brain injury)|
Stevo Hills has right side hemiplegia, causing muscle weakness and partial paralysis on the right side of his body, which he developed when he was five years old, after he was hit by a motorbike as he crossed the road to catch the bus.
At 35 Stevo switched from competing on a two-wheeled bike to a trike in hopes of creating more opportunity for success in Para cycling competitions. That certainly was the case when he made his international debut in 2015 at three UCI Para Cycling Road World Cup events and culminating with the 2015 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships.
Stevo showed huge improvements over the three World Cup events topped off with two outstanding top six finishes at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships – 5th place in the Men’s T2 Time Trial and 6th in the Men’s T2 Road Race.
His goal however, did not stop here. The New Plymouth athlete aspired to represent New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and beyond that the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. When Stevo was selected as part of the New Zealand Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Team as the first ever trike Para cyclist he was thrilled! He went onto to represent his country amongst a stand out team of 31 Paralympians. The Team secured a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists – 9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze – beating its pre-Games target of 18 medals by 3 medals. The team finished 1st in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th). In Stevo’s Paralympic debut in Rio he savoured the incredible atmosphere of the road racing. He produced great results placing 8th in both the Men’s T1-2 Road Time Trial and Men’s T1-2 Road Race.
In August 2019, Stevo claimed silver at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Cup in Canada. And just a few weeks later he won a bronze medal in the Men’s T2 Road Race, finishing just 13 seconds off the gold medal spot at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Stevo improved on his Rio performance by finishing 6th in the Men’s T1-2 Road Race and placing 8th in the Time Trial.
Outside of Para cycling, Stevo likes working with his Dad on the family farm. He enjoys spending time with people with disabilities to help them achieve their goals and aspirations.
Stevo officially received his ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in New Plymouth in September 2019.
|2020||Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games||6th – Men’s T1-2 Road Race
8th – Men’s T1-2 Road Time Trial
|2016||Rio 2016 Paralympic Games||8th – Men’s T1-2 Road Time Trial
8th – Men’s T1-2 Road Race