Jody Alan Cundy OBE (born 14 October 1978) is an English cyclist and former swimmer. He has represented Great Britain at six Summer Paralympics winning seven gold medals across swimming and cycling events. He has also competed in multiple World Championships, winning 22 medals.
Jody Cundy at the Newport GP in 2010
|Full name||Jody Alan Cundy|
|Born||14 October 1978|
|Height||171 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||74 kg (163 lb)|
|Current team||Para-T Cycling Team|
|Para-T Cycling Team|
Cundy was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire to Alan, a fitter-welder, and Ann, an accountancy clerk. He grew up in Norfolk along with his younger brother Ashley. Cundy was born with a deformed foot, which was amputated when he was three years old.
When Cundy was aged 10, his parents met a disabled girl's parents and they discussed disability swimming. After some research, Cundy's parents decided to get him involved. Cundy showed early potential, breaking swimming records for his age group. After become a leading member of his local King's Lynn club's team, he made his international debut at the Swimming World Championships in Malta in 1994. "I was," he recalls, "a rank outsider. I knocked four seconds off my personal best and won the world 100m butterfly title at the first attempt." But he was, he says, "never a naturally gifted swimmer. I don't have the build. I just worked very hard: 10 or 11 two-hour sessions in the pool each week, and weights and core strength work – 30 hours-plus a week." He later became a top athlete, and represented Great Britain three times in swimming at the Paralympic Games from 1996 to 2004, winning three gold and two bronze medals. After a 2004 Athens Paralympic Games that landed him a "not great" bronze, Cundy joined the high-performance swimming centre at Swansea.
In 2006, he switched from swimming to cycling, competing at international events in the C4 disability category. Winning gold in the kilo in his debut at the 2006 world championships, he repeated this feat in 2007 and 2009 also taking the team sprint title at both events. Since switching to cycling he has been based in Manchester where he trains with the Great Britain Cycling squad.
Representing Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, Cundy broke the world record on the way to winning the gold in the 1km Time Trial with a time of 1 minute 5.466 seconds. This made him one of only a handful of athletes that have become Paralympic champion in two different sports.
He was selected for the Great Britain team at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. He was expected to win gold in the C4/5 Men's 1 km time trial, but slipped shortly after starting, ostensibly due to the starting gate not working properly, gripping his wheel for too long. The technical delegate of the International Cycling Union, Louis Barbeau, disagreed, refusing him a restart. Cundy then erupted into a rage, swearing and throwing water bottles. He later apologised to the crowd, though made clear that he still disagreed with the decision. He won bronze in the C4/5 men's 4 km pursuit, racing Diego Gomez of Colombia. In the first kilometre of the race, he clocked a time of 1:05.317 in the heats, which would have won the 1 km time trial.
He is the fastest solo Paralympian of all time, completing the flying 200m in a time of 10.805 seconds (66.635 km/h).
Cundy aimed to qualify for the England team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, however he abandoned this hope after placing fifth among English competitors and eighth overall in the 1km time trial at the 2013 British National Track Championships, despite setting a new personal best and a world record for the C4 category. Subsequently he won gold at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes in the C4 1 km time trial, earning his ninth world title and breaking his own world record with a time of 1:01.466.
In October 2014, Cundy was admitted to hospital with low blood pressure and cold or flu symptoms. Eventually diagnosed with Epiglottitis, Cundy was placed in an ICU unit and discharged 14 days later. Had he not had been in hospital the doctors believe this infection would have been fatal, he made a fast recovery and raced a few months later at the 2015 Newport Paracycling International where he again went undefeated and set a new PB, against all the odds.
More recently in 2015 and 2016 Cundy still remains undefeated in the 1 km TT, making it 10 years unbeaten on the track at the World Track Championships with the only missing medal being that of London 2012 with the controversial DNF. In addition to his 2016 Kilo Gold Medal, Jody Cundy became a double world champion with British Cycling teams mates Louis Rolfe and Jon-Allan Butterworth winning in a new world record time at the World Championships in Montichari, Italy in March. Since then it has now been officially announced that Cundy will be travelling to Rio for his sixth Paralympic Games.
Currently sponsors OSSUR are creating a new leg for the 2016 Paralympics and Jody is rumoured to be looking into a new customer design with good humour and replacing his trademark Union Jack prosthetic.
At the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, Cundy regained his Kilo Paralympic title in a new Paralympic record of 1:04.492 which when factored for C4 athletes gave a winning time of 1:02.473 In the final track cycling event of the 2016 Summer Paralympics Jody teamed up with Louis Rolfe and Jon-Allan Butterworth to take the Mixed Team Sprint C1-5 gold medal in a World Record time of 48.635.
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