Jody Cundy’s London 2012 Paralympics: The heartbreak, the triumph and the ‘unfinished business’
IT is official: Jody Cundy has unfinished business.
The 33-year-old is recovering from the most dramatic, heartbreaking and inspiring week of his career at the London 2012 Paralympics.
He was robbed of the opportunity to defend his 1km Time Trial (kilo) title when officials ruled he had made a faulty start on Friday.
The decision provoked an expletive-ridden rant from Cundy. He shouted that the commissaires had ruined his life before he was dragged out of the velodrome by his coach.
But an hour later he apologised over the arena’s PA system. He apologised again in front of the hordes of television cameras gathered at the Paralympic park.
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And on Saturday, he began to put things right. The Walpole St Andrew star won a spectacular bronze in the 4km Pursuit - catching his Colombian opponent Diego Duenas at the 1km mark in a time which would have seen him win gold the day before.
He has already vowed that it will not be his last medal.
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“I planned for two years and maybe Rio 2016,” he said. “But there is unfinished business now.”
“Although it’s going to be hard work especially as I get older, I think it will be well worth it to come back and try and step on the top of the podium again. I have found what happened difficult to comprehend and I want to put it right.”
Cundy added: “Obviously London wasn’t my place to shine brightest, but I’ll be back, and I feel sorry for anyone who’ll have to race me from now on.”
Cundy, who won three Paralympic golds as a swimmer before taking up cycling, admitted his bronze medal was “the wrong colour but it will do”.
He also reflected on Friday’s controversial false start, and the fallout which played out across the nation’s media following his televised meltdown.
He said: “Overnight I sat down and cried quite a lot even though I find it hard to cry and I’m not the biggest crier in the world.
“I had a few tears and I was just trying to comprehend what it was that had happened and what it all meant.
“Four years of my life have been dedicated to performing on this stage in London, showing the world exactly what I can do.
“Unfortunately I didn’t get to show them last time but hopefully with this bronze they got a glimpse of what is in my legs.”