Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Cerebral Palsy
How acquired
Date of Birth
March 11, 1996
Forth, TAS
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Rio 2016


Nicole Perry

Career Highlights

Breaking the world record in the 1500m on home soil in 2014

Greatest Moment

The atmosphere at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France


Tasmanian teenager Deon Kenzie has been making waves in Para-athletics since his international debut at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France. But it wasn’t until 2015, when he broke the world record in the 1500m on home turf in Hobart, that he was labelled a future Paralympic gold medallist.

Born with cerebral palsy affecting the right side of his body, Deon first started running to improve his fitness for AFL. He soon discovered his natural ability and began training with coach, Mike Gunson, for the 800m and 1500m events in local competitions.

Inspired by American Olympic track star, Steve Prefontaine, Deon exceeded his own expectations at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, where he crossed for third. He is motivated by Steve’s mantra that “to give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift”.

In accordance with his fast track to the top of his classification, ‘Kenz’ (easier for Mike to yell than ‘Deon’) was nominated for the Athletics Australia 2014 Male Para-athlete of the Year. At the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, he won silver in the 1500m, just over a second behind gold medallist Abbes Saidi.

The Forth local is now working towards running under four minutes in the 1500m, breaking his own world record.

To compete at his best, Deon admits to having an unusual pre-competition routine; he warms up one hour beforehand, listens to ‘Best of You’ by the Foo Fighters, and pumps up by hitting his chest or hands together.

Off the track, Deon likes to read, hang out with mates, and go to the movies. He hopes to one day own a sportswear company.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 1500m Classification: T38