Some of Darren Hicks OAM's earliest and fondest memories are of riding bikes. From age 10 to 29 BMX was his chosen discipline and it was a love that never wavered.
However, a motor vehicle accident in 2014 changed all of that. Darren suffered severe leg and neck trauma, his right leg was amputated above the knee, his left leg was fractured and his C2 vertebra was so severely broken it required surgical fixation. His BMX dreams were over.
After a hard and at times very dark three months after the accident, Darren rode a bike again for the first time - only this time as an amputee using a prosthetic leg.
In April 2015, Darren competed for the first time as a Para-athlete. However, after losing by 50 minutes in his first race, and 41 minutes in his second, this first foray into Para-cycling proved short-lived.
A chance meeting six months later with Loz, a local cycling coach, put Darren back on track. The big difference this time was that he was no longer using a prosthetic, instead of pedalling with only his left leg. It felt crazy to him at the time, he says, but it turned out to be the beginning of an incredible new life.
In 2017 Darren won his first national title. Later that year, making his first national squad and earning selection for the Road World Championships, he brought home silver medals in the Time Trial and Road Race.
Darren is now a two-time World Champion and held the World Record in the C2 3km Individual Pursuit. His success at the Tokyo Paralympic Games sees him with a Gold and Silver medal to add to his expanding collection of elite medals.
In 2022 Darren was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to sport as a gold medallist at the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020.