GALLERY: Fenland’s Paralympic champion Jody Cundy unveils his newly painted prosthetic LEG in advance of London 2012
CHAMPION Paralympic cyclist Jody Cundy will be going the extra mile compared to all those sports fans who have had their faces painted to show their support - he is having his new prosthetic LEG specially painted for the competition.
The Fen athlete, 33, Freeman of Wisbech and five times gold medallist and 11 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 at the Manchester Velodrome today,
Jody, who was born with a deformed foot, which was amputated when he was just three years old, has been working on the design with top designer Gary Forshaw, who works with �ssur, 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 as well as the Olympics.
In 2006, Jody switched 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.
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He is the fastest solo Paralympian of all time, completing the flying 200m in a time of 10.805 (66.635 km/h[
Jody said: “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.
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“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 �ssur, 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 leg carries a medal for each successful Paralympics or World Championships.”