VOICE OF THE FENS: Passion, courage and determination - the ‘character’ of Paralympic legend Jody Cundy
CHARACTER is a word used a lot in sport.
It’s normally employed by football pundits who want to describe just how much “character” it takes for handsomely-paid players to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.
But over the last week, we have seen true “character” from Walpole St Andrew’s very own Paralympian Jody Cundy.
It was Jody’s “character” on display in the velodrome on Friday when he was denied the chance to defend his 1km Time Trial in front of a home crowd.
He threw his water bottle, cursed at the camera, shouted at the officials and had to be dragged from the velodrome. That was Jody’s “character” - untameable passion, a raw desire to win. You don’t win five Paralympic golds without it.
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We saw his “character” again an hour later when he apologised to 6,000 people over the PA system in the London velodrome.
He didn’t shy away. He had just experienced the most crushing injustice of his career, perhaps even his life. He had trained for four years for a two-minute race he never got to contest. It was pure disaster.
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But Jody met that disaster head on. He dealt with his actions and he faced up to the nation’s media. He showed more courage in those few hours than many sportsmen do in their entire careers.
And the next day, under more pressure than he would ever have imagined, he returned to the scene of his nightmare to win an incredible bronze.
That was Jody Cundy’s “character” - the defiance and determination of a born winner.