Inspirational Cundy reflects on world championship glory as title haul hits double figures
INSPIRATIONAL Jody Cundy reinforced his reputation as one of the most successful British paralympians of all time by claiming his 10th world title at the weekend.
The Walpole St Andrew star smashed personal bests and world records to power his way to two golds and a silver at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships, in Montichiari, Italy.
Cundy began his most successful championships since switching from swimming to cycling by claiming a stunning silver on his 4km pursuit debut.
And the 32-year-old took his tally of world titles into double figures by cruising to gold in the 1km Time Trial (kilo) and the Team Sprint.
Cundy said: “I crossed the line on the team sprint and thought, that was my 10th world title. It was something I never thought I’d achieve.
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“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. I haven’t had the chance to sit back and think, ‘wow, I’ve been on that podium 10 times’.
“The pursuit was literally a shot in the dark so to win silver was amazing. It meant that all the training had worked.
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“The whole squad was flying every time we were on the track. We were producing personal bests and records - delivering the goods when it mattered.”
As well as his championship wins, Cundy boasts a staggering five paralympic titles in a remarkable career which has seen him dominate in the pool and the velodrome.
“I learned how to swim to survive,” he said. “The first time I ever swam I was on the bottom of the pool.
“Then gradually I learned and got to represent Great Britain, later moving to cycling. I never thought it would transform my life and end up being my day job.
“I’ve never really looked at myself as a role model or a hero. I was talking to Victoria Pendleton the other day and she said she’d spoken to someone in hospital who was about to have his leg amputated.
“They had seen me racing and it had made it easier for them - knowing that there’s still life beyond that. To have that kind of impact on the public - that is something that I aspire to do.”
Cundy’s latest triumphs leave him well-placed to launch another bid for glory at next year’s Olympics.
“London 2012 is the stuff of dreams,” he said. “To have the chance to race in front of so many home supporters, family and friends will be amazing. It’s a chance to show them exactly what I’ve been doing for years in countries across the world that they might have only seen on television. It will be pretty special.
“I’m always aiming to move the sport forward. I want to keep re-setting the standards of paralympic cycling. I’m constantly trying to push myself and make sure I’m at the forefront of the sport - showing people what is possible.”