Name: Jody Cundy MBE
Date of Birth: 14/10/1978
Place of Birth: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Current Residence: Manchester
Events: 1km Time Trial, Team Sprint, 4km Pursuit
Career highlight(s): Sydney 100 fly Gold and Beijing 1km Gold.
Jody was born with a deformed right foot which was amputated at the age of 3. He was then fitted with an artificial leg, and hasn’t looked back since. At the age of 5 he had his first swimming lesson with his school and ended up being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a fully clothed parent!
After that his parents enrolled him into the local swimming club where he learnt to swim. At the age of 10 he raced for the first time for Kings Lynn swimming club, and his international debut came in 1994, representing Great Britain at the world swimming champs. He took 4 seconds off his best time to surprise everyone and take the gold medal in the 100m Butterfly, this would be the first of 23 (14gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze) international medals he would win in a swimming career spanning 10 years.
In 2005 Jody’s career path would change after a ride on the boards of the Newport Velodrome. His potential was spotted by one of the coaches there on that open day. After another ride on the track in Manchester he entered the 2005 national championships and in his first ride broke the British record for the flying 200. Still swimming on the GB team Jody got in contact with the Newport Velo squad who trained at the velodrome. His times caught the attention of the GB coaches, and he was invited to a time trial for a place on the 2006 Paralympic world cup team.
This was a success and he was offered a place to ride in the team sprint alongside Darren Kenny and Mark Bristow, and they went on to set a new WR. After that race he hung up his trunks and goggles for the last time and made the transition to the British Cycling team. In the summer of 2006 he won his first individual gold medal at the World Track Championships in Aigle Switzerland, breaking the WR in the process.From that victory he has gone onto become the fastest solo Paralympian on a bike and won multiple medals on the world stage and became one of only a handful of athletes that have become Paralympic champion in two different sports. In 2009 he was made an MBE in the New Years Honours list for his services to disability sport.
In a bid to score important qualification points for London, Jody’s training emphasis shifted to a more endurance base in 2011 as he targeted the 4km Pursuit in addition to his sprint events. In March he made a startling international debut in the 4km pursuit to take a silver medal in the World Championships, Jody also went on to retain his kilo and team sprint titles, both in WR times, and at the same time taking his 10th World title.
Jody recently became double world champion at the UCI Paracycling Track World Championships in Montichiari in not only his main event of the 1KM TT but also as Man 3 in the Team Sprint together with his team mates Louis Rolfe and Jon-Allan Butterworth set a new WR time of 49.230 in the process.
In 2011, he set up the cycling team “Para-T” which is made up entirely of elite ParaCycling athletes to help promote disability sport. In the future he hopes that Para-T will be able to work with the very best in the sport to develop and coach young riders at all levels and with multiple disabilities in Road and Track Cycling at a Grassroots level up to the podiums of the very best UCI Para-cycling events.
When Jody is not competing or training, he likes spending time catching up on the Moto GP, Mountain Biking in Llandegla Forest in North Wales, Flying his Power kite and enjoying watching the classics such as Paris Roubaix, Tour of Flanders and the Milan San Remo. Jody is planning to try Kite-Surfing after a recent trip to Cape Verde where by he was no less than captivated by the sport, however he has promised his coach Jon Norfolk at British Cycling that this can wait until after his has competed at the Paralympics in Rio but we wouldn’t be surprised if you spot him on the beach with a kite before the closing ceremony is over.