Champion’s diary: Jody Cundy reflects on year of training, world records and... nude modelling?
MONTHS before he takes centre stage at London 2012, Paralympic legend Jody Cundy reflects on a year spent on the track, in the gym and, occasionally, in unusual photo shoots.
The year started with training camps in Majorca and Newport, before I travelled to Italy for the World Championships.
First up was the 4km Pursuit, an event I’d only ever ridden two or three times before and never really mastered.
However, I pulled out a massive 20-second personal best in qualifying and a silver medal in a new event put a smile on my face.
I surprised myself in the kilo, breaking my world record by three tenths of a second before lining up against the Chinese team in the final of the team sprint.
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I came away with two world records, two gold medals and a surprise silver. It was a great way to start the year.
I had a great first race in the colours of Para-T, the team I’d set up with my girlfriend to raise awareness of the standard of Para-Cycling.
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With no break in training my focus switched to competing on the road as I travelled to Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Glasgow for more competition.
I was signed up for the Sky Sports Scholarships scheme, to offer financial and media support in the run up to 2012.
I had a photo shoot with Sky and was the subject of a poster produced by Turner Prize winning artist Fiona Banner. It was quite a daunting process as Fiona has a technique where she paints with words and I was to model nude - only slightly scary!
I finished with a fourth-place in the National TT Championships before competing at the World Road Championships in Denmark.
Off the bike, I was one of 10 athletes profiled over three short films in the run-up to the games. The first went out in the summer and the others go out this year.
I trained for three days in the Olympic Velodrome before competing at the National Track Championships, where the highlight was my flying 200m world record in the open sprint qualification.
I was back in the photo studio again as Royal Mail took my picture for a series of Olympic and Paralympic stamps.
I finished my year with another training camp in Majorca before being named the BBC East 2011 Disability Sports Personality of the Year, something I’m very proud of.
It’s been a busy year filled with a lot of racing, travelling and promotion. 2012 promises more of the same, plus the added bonus of a home Paralympic Games!