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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).
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.”
Getting All Artistic
by Jody Cundy MBE
Well here I am on the eve of the World Championships here in Montichiari, I’ve had 3 sessions on the track since arriving here, and each one of them has been more and more encouraging. The track feels fast, and my legs feels good, I just hope that feeling lasts for the next 3 days as I have a lot of racing to do between now and Sunday evening. First up is the pursuit, the big unknown for me, sure I’ve done pursuits before, but this is the first time I’ve focused on it and trained with the goal of competing at a major championship, and with London [Olympics] just over a year away it will be an interesting test. After the pursuit I’m into more familiar territory with the kilo and team sprint both, of which I’m aiming to retain my world titles in.
In preparation for these worlds, as a team we’ve spent 2 weeks training on the boards of Newport velodrome, mainly to get away from the chaos and busy track in Manchester as the able-bodied team prepared for the world championships, but also to prepare together as a team. Over the 2 weeks in Newport my training covered all aspects of my racing with starts, pursuit and flying efforts and team sprint practice. During the 2nd week we had the trial for the team sprint, with 4 riders going for 3 places. Rik Waddon and Darren Kenny were competing for man 1, and myself and Terry Byrne were trialling to see who would ride 2nd and 3rd man. The trial was basically 2 full team sprints, and everything would be recorded and filmed so all elements of the ride could be analysed. First up was Darren, myself and Terry, this turned into a mission, as on the first try I picked up a puncture in turn 1, meaning an abandoned attempt, then sat on the start line for the re-run my helmet buckle fell off my aero helmet, so with my road helmet on it was 3rd time lucky! (Hope it’s not going to be like this at the worlds!) With a smooth start and equally smooth changes our benchmark was set. 60mins later we were up on track again, this time with Rik leading off and myself and Terry switching order. This time the trial went smoothly with another really good ride in the bag.
Amazingly both rides were inside the current WR, so things were looking up and it was nice knowing that we had world class backup rider no matter what team we’d go with. The following morning once the coaches had analyzed all the footage and crunched the numbers, the team sprint was selected, Darren Kenny man 1, Terry Byrne man 2 and myself man 3, a new team line up lets hope our debut goes well.
Also on the Newport camp I took part in a photo shoot with photographer Richard Booth, who is producing a coffee table book of London 2012 hopefuls. I’m looking forward to seeing the shots in print as the samples I saw a glimpse of looked amazing. Actually it’s been a month of photo shoots, as just before I left for the world championships I was invited by Sky Sports to take part in a shoot they were doing for their 20th Anniversary, again it was for another coffee table book, with all these books I’m not sure where my coffee’s going!
Once Newport was over it was back to the boards of Manchester, but not as a rider, entering a contest on Cycling Weekly’s facebook page I found myself the winner of 2 tickets to the Manchester leg of the World Cup. I had a great day, and was soaking up the home atmosphere, and imagining what it’s going to be like in London with twice the amount of people cheering that loud, London really is going to be something special, but lots of training to do before then!
Inspired by the world cup performances it was back to the boards of Manchester to put the finishing touches to our preparation and start the all important taper.
Outside of the cycling I’ve been busy working on my website, and after months of it being under ￼construction it’s actually finished and fully up and running, so go take a look www.jodycundy.com any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Prior to coming to Italy I ended up getting all artistic, with my prosthetic cycling leg. I’d had a few conversations with potential sponsors and it became clear that for some reason my disability on the bike wasn’t visible. I guess my black carbon leg was blending into my black carbon bike. Anyway a quick trip to Halfords and I had sand paper, primer, paint, and clear lacquer. Now I just needed a paint booth, as the weather was awful outside, so our shower room became a temporary booth and masked it all off making sure everything was covered! (Thanks Christina! Can’t believe she agreed to it!)
Anyway leg all keyed up it was primer time, what a transformation that made, the leg looked completely different with just the white primer on, I couldn’t wait to get onto the next level of paint, but patience was the key and I had to wait for it to dry completely. Good job I wasn’t on the track with it for a few days. Once the paint was dry it was time to give the leg some colour, with some world bands applied with trusty coloured electrical tape, I then spent the afternoon printing out transfers, before spending hours carefully applying them to the leg. A quick clear coat over the top and it was all finished. A bright white leg, carrying the world bands, finished off with my name, a Union Jack, my leg sponsors logo, and my final finishing touch, 7 gold medals for each of my World and Paralympic cycling titles, if all goes well it would be nice to add a few more! Check out the pics.
Jody's Leg - Image ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
I have to say I’m looking forward to these championships, it’s seems like an eternity since I’ve raced at the very top level, and I can’t wait!
Also it will be the first time all the members of the Para-T team I helped set up will be together. The next time will be at out debut race, at the Good Friday track meeting in Manchester on April 22nd.
Well until next time, and stories from the world champs. Happy Cycling!
All images ©Copyright Christina Kelkel