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All Images © Christina Kelkel
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).
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.”