Mark Colbourne and I have produced a video featuring the Para-cycling team.
As myself, Mark and the rest of the Para-cycling team are unable to attend the Opening Ceremony tonight due to the cycling events starting tomorrow, we wanted to share a little video with you to say “Hello!”
We shot, directed and edited the “Hello!” video as a thank you for the overwhelming support we’ve received from the British public, and it was a fantastic opportunity for the whole team to get together and capture some moments from our time in the holding camp and athletes village.
Making the video was fun; we wanted to get together as a team and show we have personalities outside our day job, but also show some of our preparations in Newport. In doing so we hopefully put a smile on people’s faces…. Enjoy!
31/08/12 – C4/C5 1km Time Trial Final 01/09/12 – C4 4km Pursuit Qualification in the morning and Final in the
afternoon if qualified
(02/09/12 – C1-5 Mixed Team Sprint Qualification in the morning and
Final in the afternoon if qualified. Please note that Jody is currently
Ahead of the opening ceremony this evening, Jody is more excited and focussed than ever at the prospect of achieving his Paralympic dreams. Jody’s first event will be the 1km Time Trial on Friday and he’s eager to jump on the velodrome boards.
“I’m in great form at the moment and I can’t wait to get out there and race in front of a home crowd! The support has been incredible so far and I think London 2012 will provide an opportunity for the public to really appreciate Paralympic sport, as we train just as hard and put just as much effort in as the Olympic team. It’s fantastic to see everyone really getting behind ParalympicsGB, it really means a lot.”
The London 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony will begin this evening at 8:30pm, but the decision to attend is made by both the athletes and their coaches depending upon their racing schedule. “Of course it would be great to attend, but I’ve not been to an opening ceremony since I have joined the cycling team, as it’s also important to prepare correctly for your competition and sometimes that means you miss out on things. That’s something we are used to as athletes.”
Time to meet the Superhumans if you haven’t already they including Cycling Shorts very own Jody Cundy MBE.
Channel 4 launched its biggest ever marketing campaign on Tuesday July 17 to promote coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a ‘roadblock’ premiere of its Meet the Superhumans film across 78 television channels.
The 90 second long film is set to the awesome track, “Harder Than You Think” by hip hop legends, Public Enemy, the film showcases the abilities of some of the leading UK Paralympians, represents some of the unique stories behind the elite athletes, and shows the herculean efforts that have gone into their preparation for the Games. It’s an extremely powerful short film.
Channel 4 is committed to bringing a new audience to the Paralympic Games and to raise awareness of Paralympic sport.
The campaign was commissioned by Channel 4 marketing, and conceived and directed by Tom Tagholm, for Channel 4’s in-house agency, 4creative.
Dan Brooke, Channel 4’s Chief Marketing & Communications Officer said: “London 2012 is a coming of age moment for the Paralympics. This campaign will help bring a whole new audience to it and may even raise a goosebump or two along the way.”
Produced by 4creative which is Channel 4’s in-house agency who this year have picked up a D&AD pencil (their 9th in 7 years) and a Cannes Gold and Bronze lion.
The shoot took place over 14 days in sports arenas across the country from the Sheffield Aquatics centre to Lee Valley Athletics Centre to the Olympic stadium, to the home of the Paralympics: Stoke Mandeville.
The full list of locations:
Paralympics Athletics Test Event at the Olympic Stadium
Herne Hill Velodrome Cycling Meet
Cardiff Swimming Pool
Stoke Mandeville (Wheelchair Basketball)
Lee Valley Athletics Centre
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
Reading Hockey Club (Blind Football)
Earlier today at a press conference Jody unveiled his 2012 Paralympics prosthetic cycling leg design complete with new graphics. The leg carries the Union Jack Flag design used on the Team GB kit along with Jody’s medal tally down the back of the leg and the names of all the people who have helped him win ten Gold medals at Paralympics and World Championships.
Jody commented, “I am really happy the way it has turned out, I think it looks pretty cool.”
“It’s a whole new leg for London. It’s a refinement of the leg I had in Beijing with new positioning and alignment and refined aerodynamics. I think the leg looks stunning and it is a thank you to everyone who has helped me on my journey to the Games, right from when I started competing up until now.”
Jody, a five times gold medallist and eleven times World Champion who will compete in the 1km time trial, the team sprint and the 4km pursuit, at the Paralympic Games, unveiled the unique, eye-catching design at a special preview ceremony held at the Manchester Velodrome.
Jody was born with a deformed foot, which was amputated when he was just three years old. After a successful swimming career Jody switched in 2006 from swimming to cycling, competing at international events in the C4 disability category. Winning gold in the kilo in his debut at the 2006 world championships, he repeated this feat in 2007 and 2009 also taking the team sprint title at both events.
Representing Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, Cundy broke the world record on the way to winning the gold in the Kilo with a time of 1 minute 5.466 seconds. Cundy was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire,MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours. He is the fastest solo Paralympian of all time, completing the flying 200m in a time of 10.805 (66.635 km/h).
Jody’s World Champ Banded Leg
Jody’s Silver Wrap Leg – UCI Para-Cycling World Champs
He has been working on the design with top designer Gary Forshaw, who works with Össur, the Icelandic company which produced his new prosthetic leg as well as those for ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius, who is also competing in the Paralympics.
Jody explained, “Prior to the 2011 I had feedback from some potential sponsors that although it was obvious I had a prosthetic leg when I was off the bike, once I was on it the black carbon of the leg and the black carbon of the bike blended into each other and I appeared able bodied! So for the 2011 World Championships in Italy I set about giving my leg a makeover.”
“Initially I painted it bright white and incorporated the world stripes around the centre to signify I was world champion. The leg was a big hit but the governing body didn’t approve of the design, as I was racing in a few events in which I wasn’t world champion.”
“So, for the following year I covered the leg in a chrome vinyl wrap and that attracted a lot of attention, with people calling it the Terminator leg! For London I’ve had a brand new leg made by Össur, and I wanted it to really stand out in front of the home crowds at the Paralympics.”
“I love customising my leg. With so many restrictions on kit and other pieces of equipment it’s nice to have a bit of creative freedom and stand out from the crowd. One part of the leg that’s been common and will continue to be is the medal tally, inspired by bomber planes which carried a mark for each successful sortie. My my leg carries a medal for each successful Paralympics or World Championships.”
On the new design for 2012 the names of all those who have supported the five times Paralympics gold medallist are ‘ghosted’ into the design and on the back of the leg is a ‘medal board’ with ten medal images representing his gold medals in previous World Championships and Paralympics.
Designer Gary said: “In the initial meetings we had to discuss the design Jody already had a fairly good idea of what he wanted, so from there it was just a case of getting those ideas on paper and then eventually onto the prosthesis. The aim was to create an eye-catching, iconic design, and to find a way to include all the names without distracting too much from the overall look – and hopefully we’ve managed to achieve that in the end. I think it looks great! “
Richard Hirons, lead prosthetist of Össur, said: “It happens to be a thing of beauty and I’m very satisfied with the result. “We’ve been very pleased at Össur to work with Jody and his coaching and support team on this collaborative project. We know that Jody will do his bestwhen he’s called to the line, as he always does. In prosthetic terms we’ve been granted the opportunity to pay attention to details that often we’re not able to do. But whatever our contribution, it is Jody who has put in the hours and the effort that is the real headline. And for that, he has our support, admiration and best wishes.”
Day 2 and it was time for me to race the 4km Pursuit. Having won a silver medal in Montichiari the year before I was seeded into the last but one heat. I was lined up against Aaron Trent of the USA. As I built up speed to settle into my race rhythm I came out of turn 2 to be greeted by an official and the carpets from the start gate still in the middle of the track, not something thats normally there. Having averted the official I dropped down off the track, and hoped I would get a restart. Fortunately I would and I would ride once my official heat had finished and post a time on my own. My head a little all over the shot I settled back into the start gate and prepared for my 16 lap test. Within 2 laps I knew that it was going to be a long 4km, as the gear felt massive, which considering I’d gone down in size because of the conditions and the track I thought was worrying. Once I had slipped of the pace my coach was walking I just tried to push on as much as possible. My target was to take the fastest time, a time I comfortable rode last year, that way I would be guaranteed another ride regardless of the outcome of the final heat. As the laps continued I kept pushing on, with words of encouragement being shouted from track side by Chris Furber, it’s the most animated I’ve see him while I’ve been racing, so I knew it was going to be tight.
I crossed the line in 4:55.958, some 11 seconds off my best, although in the tough conditions it was good enough to top the leader board. The world champ and bronze medalist from the previous worlds gunned for my time in the final heat to knock me down to 3rd. In the final I would now be riding for Bronze against Roberto Alcaide from Spain.
For the final I dropped my gear again, to hopefully suit the track and conditions, and immediately out of the gate I felt more controlled than in the morning qualifying , and I was on schedule, after 2laps I caught a glimpse of my opponent, and at that point I made the conscious decision to go for the catch.
I injected some pace and within 5laps I had overcome my opponent to win the bronze. It was quite satisfying catching Roberto as he had caught me for 2 minutes during the time trial at the world road championships last September!
The final was an cracking pursuit contest, with Carol Eduard Novak taking the title ahead of previous world champions and WR holder Jiri Jezek.
2011 has to be one of the quickest years I can remember, it only seems like yesterday I was seeing in the New Year and here I am at the end of it writing my 2011 review.
2011 started with a training camp in Majorca, this was part of my preparations for the World Track Championships, and we were treated to some great weather which was especially welcome as the day we left the UK it was snowing. I managed to get some quality miles in during the camp, these miles would prove to be valuable to the rest of the season, especially as I’d added the 4km Pursuit to my racing program.
With 2 training camps back to back in Newport on my return to the UK, preparations for the world champs were almost complete. So it was off to Italy, and a chance to race again on the world scene. First up was the 4km Pursuit, an event I’d only ever ridden 2 or 3 times before, and never really mastered. However with all the extra endurance work of the previous year, I pulled out a massive 20 second PB in qualifying to make it to the gold medal ride off against Jiri Jezek. I got a little too excited in the final starting off way too quick, and soon paid for my fast start, but a silver medal at the world championships in a new event put a smile on my face. The following 2 days of racing were business as usual as I returned to the events I know and love, the kilo and team sprint. I surprised myself in the kilo, breaking my WR by 3 tenths of a second, which considering a lot of my focus had been on pursuit in the run up to the competition, it was a welcome surprise. The final day of competition was the team sprint, and with the rules changing regarding composition of the team almost at every event I was part of a new line up. This time, myself, Darren Kenny and Terry Byrne lined up against the Chinese team in the final. With both teams breaking the WR in qualifying it was always going to be a good race, and sure enough the level of competition pushed us to another world record. Although this only stood for about 2 weeks before the rules were changed once again by the UCI.
So track worlds were a success, I came away with 2 WR’s 2 gold medals and a surprise silver, it was a great way to start the year especially with the London Paralympics just over a year away.
Upon returning home from the World Championships I had my first race in the colours of Para-T, the team I’d set up with my girlfriend. It was a great debut for the team, and really helped raise awareness to the standard of Para-Cycling.
With no break in training my focus switched to competing on the road, as I travelled to Sydney Australia for the first round of the UCI Para-Cycling World Cup. I was there to score qualification points for GB, these points are essential as without them the team may have to make tough decisions on who they take to the Paralympics next year. The racing in Sydney was a shock to the system but an 8th in the road race and a 6th in the time trial were all valuable points.
On my return from Australia the road miles started to build up, as did the competitions. Next up was a block of racing in multiple countries as I continued my qualification points quest, first up was Piacenza in Italy, with a 5th place overall and one of my favourite races of the whole year, then it was a quick drive to Switzerland for another 2 day race in Gippingen. Before then joining up with the GB squad and heading out to Segovia in Spain for the 2nd round of the UCI world cup, although I struggled in the road race I scored more important points in the time trial. With my little road trip almost to an end it was a quick flight over to Glasgow, where I joined a few other members of the GB squad to take part in the middle 4 days of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain.
With all the travelling and racing, my body was getting pretty tired, but it was all important miles in my legs, and I hoped that these would prove valuable for 2012.
Super Human Poster by Fiona Banner
With a quiet period without any races for a few weeks I could get on with a few other things that had come my way, first up was a photo shoot for Sky, as I’d just been signed up to their Sky Sports Scholarships program, they were going to offer financial and media support in the run up to 2012. In the same week as the Sky photo shoot I made my way down to London, where I was meeting with Fiona Banner, a Turner Prize winning artist. She had been commissioned to produce 1 of 12 posters for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and I was to be the subject of her poster. It was quite a daunting process as Fiona has a technique were she paints with words, and I was to model nude (only slightly scary!). But I thought about the posters that you still see from Olympics past, and thought it was definitely worth being part of history, so that was it, there I was stood naked in Fiona’s studio! To be honest after the initial shock it wasn’t so bad, and by the end I was pretty comfortable, however I don’t think I’ll be turning to life modelling anytime soon, although at least I know what’s involved now!
The next challenge for me was the National TT Championships, and although the event was under subscribed it still proved a tough test as it took in a few climbs which were 14-16% in gradient, not exactly what you want in the middle of a time trial, and definitely not suited to me, but I came out with a 4th place, which although isn’t great, I couldn’t give anymore.
With only a few weeks to help fine tune my preparations I was on the way to Roskilde Denmark for the World Road Championships, in the pursuit for more qualification points. First up was the time trial, and 2 laps of the 15.2km course. I tried to measure my effort over the course so I would have enough left in the 2nd lap, but as I crossed the finish line on the 1st lap I was overtaken by my minute man and was starting to struggle and lost my rhythm. By the time I managed to find it again, I was well on the way to finishing the course! 12th place in the end, not too disappointed, but would have been nice to make it to the top 10 and score a few points. After a day of rest and recovery it was an early start for the road race. 5 laps of the TT course, as the course was relatively flat it was difficult to make the break and get away. However a small group of C5 athletes did just that along with one C4. The race came down to a bunch sprint for 2nd place, and although with my speed I was in a good place to get a result, with less than 1km to go I struggled in the bunch for position. I really didn’t want to risk crashing and ruining my 2012 preparations, so I pulled out of the bunch and let them go. I think if I was an out and out road racer it would have been a no brainer and I would have been in that sprint for the finish, however I’m not at the moment, but who knows in years to come.
Off the bike I was busy again, doing some filming and photo’s for Alexander Mann Solutions who have agreed to support and sponsor me in the run up to the Paralympics, and beyond. Another project I’ve been involved in is with Sainsburys & Channel 4. I was one of 10 athletes they decided to profile in the run up to the games over 3 short films. The first went out in the summer and the remainders go out in 2012. They were good fun filming, and I can’t wait to see the outcome as the first film looked great.
With the Worlds over it was time to get back to the velodrome, and a few weeks of preparation before the National Track Championships. The first part of the preparation was a 3 day block of training on the Olympic Velodrome in London, it was a valuable experience and I now know what to expect come the Paralympics.
The Nationals were a great start to the track season, I placed 5th in the open kilo in the fastest time I’ve posted at a season start. I also had a great ride with Jon-Allan Butterworth and Terry Byrne in the Open Team Sprint coming in 5th place also. However the highlight of Nationals was my flying 200m WR in the Open Sprint Qualification, a time of 10.805 and good enough to place me 11th overall.
With Nationals done for another year I found myself in another photo studio. This time I was there for the Royal Mail getting my picture taken for a series of Olympic & Paralympic stamps that will be released in 2012.
I finished my year the way I started it, on a training camp in Majorca. I made the best of the good weather and got all my endurance base miles in prior to the World Championships which are early in 2012, everything went well apart from the flight home, which got cancelled, but made it back the following day with a little help from my brother and dad!
The finale to 2011 ended with me being named the BBC East 2011 Disability sports personality of the year, something I’m very proud of.
2011 has been a busy year filled with a lot racing, travelling and promotion, and 2012 promises more of the same, plus the added bonus of a home Paralympic Games, something to get really excited by!
Thanks to my sponsors, friends, family and especially my girlfriend Christina, who have helped make it happen. Here’s to 2012!
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