Paul Wiggins (athlete)

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Paul Wiggins
80 ACPS Atlanta 1996 Track Paul Wiggins.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  Australia
Born (1962-06-07) 7 June 1962 (age 55)
Koonya, Tasmania

Paul Wiggins (born 7 June 1962)[1] is an Australian wheelchair racer.


Wiggins was born in the Tasmanian town of Koonya, on the Tasman Peninsula.[1] He took up sport during rehabilitation after receiving a broken back due to a collision between his motorcycle and a car in 1985.[2] He began wheelchair racing in 1988.[3]

He competed but did not win any medals at the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Paralympics.[4] At the 1994 Commonwealth Games, he won a gold medal in the Men's Wheelchair Marathon and a bronze medal in the Men's Wheelchair 800 m event;.[5] At the 1994 Los Angeles Marathon, Wiggins and fellow French wheelchair racer Philippe Couprie made a pact that they would finish together, thus causing the first dead heat in the history of the competition.[3] He also won that competition in 1995.[6] He was the first person to break the 20-minute mark in the 10 km wheelchair race.[2]

In 1996 Wiggins was selected to compete in the Wheelchair 1500 m Men's Wheelchair event at the Summer Olympics. He finished 7th overall with a time of 3:16.86.[7]

Wiggins retired from competitive sport in 1998 due to neck problems. Before his retirement, he was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder.[2] A fitter and turner by trade, Wiggins was appointed by the Australian Sports Commission to the role of Wheelchair technician at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. His expertise in this area also saw him spend 3 months in the US in 1997 helping Cannondale design and build racing wheelchairs.[2]

Wiggins' achievements have been a source of inspiration for many athletes with disabilities including Kurt Fearnley who credits Wiggins as one of the legends of the sport.[8] Wiggins with Jeff Wiseman was responsible for establishing the Oz Day 10K Wheelchair Road Race in 1990.[9]


Australian T53 wheelchair athlete Paul Wiggins (centre, number 4 on helmet) competes on the track at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games


  1. ^ a b "Australians at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics: Athletes". Australian Sports Commission. Archived from the original on 20 January 2000. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Champion Prepares Paralympians". Australian Sports Commission. 11 October 2000. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Springer, Steve (7 March 1994). "A Team, to the End". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Athlete Search Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "1994 Australian Medallists" (PDF). Australian Commonwealth Games Association. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Winners". Los Angeles Times. 3 March 2003. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Athlete Results". Australian Olympic Council. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Kurt flies the flag for Oz Day". Western Advocate. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Celebrating 25 Years of the Oz Day 10K". Vimeo. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "City to Surf information, statistics and runners to watch". PerthNow. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Oz Day 10K HALL OF FAME" (PDF). Wheelchair Sports NSW website. Retrieved 1 March 2015.