Dylan Littlehales was awarded a Tier 2 Scholarship within the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Dylan was born on November 2, 1999 in Gosford with a rare limb deficiency in his right leg congenital fibula hemimelia. Dylan was first introduced to para canoeing when he was 14 by his uncle, who was also a head coach for the Australian canoe slalom team. The timing was quite fortunate as Para Canoe was about to debut at the next Paralympics at the time, that being the Rio Paralympics
A rising star in Para-canoe, Dylan made his Australian debut at 15, hitting international waters for the first time at the 2015 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Sprint and Para-canoe World Championships in Milan, Italy. Although he was the youngest competitor in Milan by three years, Dylan raced strongly to record a top eight result in the B final of the men’s kayak KL3.
One year later, Dylan competed at the Rio Paralympic trials where he placed second by 0.001 of a second, qualifying him to continue on to the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Training under Andrea Wood, he spent six days a week on the water and three days a week in the gym preparing for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, modelling his style after Australian able-bodied paddlers Lachlan Tame and Rob McIntyre.
Dylan not only achieved his goal of a Paralympic debut in Rio, but placed sixth in his semi-final, finishing just 2.406 seconds behind the fastest qualifier, and shaving more than a second off the time he clocked in his heat.
Since then, Dylan has been in the best form of his life. At the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Račice, Czech Republic, he finished two steps from the podium in fifth place, and won his first international medal – a bronze – at the 2018 ICF Canoe Sprint and Para-canoe World Cup in Szeged, Hungary. He placed fourth at the 2019 ICF Para-canoe World Championships, also in Szeged.
At the end of the 2019 ICF World Championships, he placed fourth, securing his spot on the Tokyo 2020 Australian Paralympic Team.
At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Dylan placed fourth in the men’s kayak final missing the medal by only 0.012 seconds.
Dylan speaks of his selection within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program:
“It is a tremendous honour for myself to become a part of the SAHOF family and be recognised for my achievement on and off the water. I look forward to taking my performance to the next level with the support of SAHOF.”
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – 4th
- 2019: Paracanoe World Championships – 4th
- 2019: Paracanoe World Cup – 4th
- 2019: Oceania Championships – Gold
- 2018: Paracanoe World Championships – 5th
- 2018: Paracanoe World Cup – Bronze
- 2018: World Cup – Bronze
- 2016: Rio Paralympic Games – Representative
Bio from Paralympics Australia