Tokyo Paralympics 'one of my favourites' for history-maker Jody
- Credit: PA
Jody Cundy said this year’s Paralympic Games where he made history in the velodrome was “one of my favourites”.
Para-cyclist Cundy, born in Wisbech, became the first male athlete to win medals at seven successive Games and in two sports, having won silver and gold in Tokyo.
“It was a fabulous experience and the Japanese public put on an amazing show,” he said.
“The level of competition, the world and Paralympic records, it was phenomenal and one of my favourites.”
Cundy, a former swimmer, won silver in the C4-5 1,000m time trial where he was beaten by Spaniard Alfonso Cabello Llamas who set a new world record.
But the 42-year-old responded to disappointment with a gold in the mixed C1-5 team sprint event alongside fellow Brits Kadeena Cox and Jaco Van Gass in the Izu Velodrome.
“When I started, I was in it for the sport and just enjoying myself, won a couple of medals,” he said.
“I never envisaged doing another five Games and to do a second sport as well.
“In the team sprint, I was in the best form I’d ever been, so we knew we just needed to have the perfect ride.”
The atmosphere was somewhat different for Cundy as no fans were allowed at the Games due to Covid-19 restrictions, meaning his parents Alan and Ann had to watch their son from home.
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But that didn’t faze the Paralympic champion.
“For them to not be there in the stands was strange, but we knew with the coverage, they felt like they were there,” said Cundy.
“To know that was happening in the UK, it filled me with confidence.”
Cundy also had the names of relatives on his cycling helmet and prosthetic leg for good luck as he once again rode to glory.
That’s not the only reason for success, though, as he looks to continue making progress in a bid to reach the Paralympics in 2024.
“The other key is the amount of hard work I’ve put in and the team behind me,” Cundy added.
“I went in there the best prepared I could ever be and the performance I did was testament to that.
“I’m 42 and everything’s getting harder to do, but as long as my body is willing and able to do it, I’ll keep trying.”
*ParalympicsGB athletes Jody Cundy OBE, Phoebe Paterson Pine, Stef Reid, Ali Jawad and Tom Hamer attended the unveiling of Virgin Media’s gold painted broadband cabinet in Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympics, to celebrate the achievements of all Paralympians.
Virgin Media’s #WeAreHere campaign encouraged the nation to cheer on the ParalympicsGB team virtually as no fans, friends or family could travel to Japan to watch the Games in person this year and celebrate the team’s achievements.
Cabinets have been painted gold in six major UK cities, including Stoke Mandeville, Loughborough, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and London.