Steadman, 28, was the favourite for Gold five years ago but was beaten by American Grace Norman after making an error in the swim section of the race.
The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant turned the tables in style, beating Norman by 41 seconds with Great Britain teammate Claire Cashmore in third. George Peasgood took Silver in the Men’s PTS5 race behind Martin Schultz.
“That’s massive redemption,” said Steadman, who competed as a swimmer in Beijing and London before switching sports.
“I was devastated after Rio, I was really destroyed, I didn’t go anywhere near my bike, my shoes or my swimsuit for seven months. My coach told me: You are not done yet and keep going’. I put all my faith in him and he got me there.”
“Before Rio I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and it really got to me. This time I knew the pressure was there but because Rio was a terrible experience, I was determined to just enjoy this regardless of whether I got a medal or not.”
Steadman, who reached the final of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins last year, took the lead midway through the 20km bike section and established an 18-second advantage, which she extended in the final 5km run, winning in one hour four minutes 46 seconds.
Cashmore, like Steadman a former Paralympic swimmer, was left frustrated after picking up a one-minute penalty for a drafting violation.
That was served during the bike segment, though there was confusion as the race officials initially got the duration wrong.
“I wasn’t happy with the penalty, they normally give you a warning and they didn’t. It’s done now, Grace and Lauren had a fantastic race and that is triathlon,” she said after finishing in 1:07:36s.
“It’s a Bronze Medal at the Paralympics, I’ve got to take the highlights from that and be proud. It’s my first Games as a triathlete and I did the same in Athens as a swimmer and went up the ranks.”
“I don’t think my performance would have been like that if certain things hadn’t happened in the race. I’m in the best shape of my life and there was a lot more in me today, it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Peasgood led his race through the swim and bike – his strongest element – but was caught by Schulz on the final lap in the 5km run and finished 45 seconds back with the German winning in 58 minutes 10 seconds.
He now switches sports to road cycling and will compete in Tuesday’s time trial, aiming to win a medal in a second sport. (BBC)