Quick Facts

How acquired
Car accident
Physical Impairment – Incomplete paraplegia
Date of Birth
October 9, 1975
Bilambil Heights, NSW
Police officer
Games Experience

Rio 2016


Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG

Career Highlights

Placing second in the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Greatest Moment

Achieving a come-from-behind win at the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series in London, England


Five-time Para-triathlon world champion and legend of the sport Bill Chaffey first began training as an able-bodied athlete. It was while preparing for an Ironman Triathlon in 2005 that he was hit by a truck from behind, breaking four vertebrae, both his elbows and fracturing his pelvis.

In trying to come to terms with his paraplegia, Bill reached out to Paralympic silver medallist John Maclean, who made history when he became the first ever wheelchair athlete to complete the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. Inspired by John to begin competing in Para-sport, Bill learned to swim with one leg, bought a racing wheelchair, and later a handcycle.

Following a dominant performance in the 2008 Gold Coast Half Ironman Triathlon, Bill was selected to represent Australia at the 2009 ITU World Triathlon Series on the Gold Coast. There he won his first ever world title, a result he repeated in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Bill’s come-from-behind win over Dutch athlete Jetze Plat at the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series in London, England ranks among his greatest sporting moments to date.

Forced to withdraw from the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series in Edmonton, Canada after breaking two pelvic bones in a training accident on the NSW North Coast, Bill returned to international competition in 2015, and in 2016 he made his Paralympic debut with triathlon at the Rio Games.

His eyes fixed firmly on gold, Bill was unlucky to just miss a podium finish, placing fourth behind the Netherlands’ Plat and Geert Schipper, and Italy’s Giovanni Achenza.

Hoping to help Australia create a name for itself in Para-triathlon, Bill was the first Para-triathlete to be accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport’s triathlon program.

Outside of training and competition, the Bilambil Heights local works as a police officer and loves spending time with his wife and two daughters. He says that if he ever came down to his last $10, he would spend it on a block of dark chocolate and a coffee with a dollop of cream.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Triathlon Classification: PTHC2