Jody Cundy: Hoy and Pendleton set example to follow

My Paralympics: I never thought the Games would achieve the interest it has

We have another hard act to follow. The Team GB Olympic cycling squad set the bar high in Beijing four years ago and we raised our game when it came to the Paralympics. We won 17 golds.

They've had another successful Olympic Games, this time in London, so we've got the pressure on us to replicate what we did in Beijing. It will be hard to do that but we know we're in good shape. Our coach has been making notes of our PBs in his little diary and his marker is running out, so that's a good sign. There's no reason why we can't be at the top of our game, just as we were in Beijing.

We've had the same provision as the Olympic team at our holding camp in Newport and a lot of us are based up in Manchester alongside the Olympic guys. I train alongside Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny – all the superstars of the sprint world in British cycling – almost on a day-to-day basis at the velodrome in Manchester.

You watch them on TV and look up to them and find yourself on their back wheel in a warm-up ride. You're always striving to be the best you can be, and having the very best in the world at an Olympic level training in front of you, going through the same drills as you are, can only inspire you to emulate what they do and push yourself on to bigger and better things.

It is an amazing set-up. I don't think there's anywhere in the world where there are so many Olympic and Paralympic champions training together.

They're very supportive of what we do and we're very supportive of what they do. It's always amazing when you watch them compete and do well because you're following people you've trained alongside. You've watched them go through the pain, the throwing up into bins, all the things you have to go through yourself in preparation.

I've got the two events in London – the kilometre time trial today and the pursuit tomorrow morning. I'm also first reserve for the team sprint.

I've been lucky enough to win five golds – three of those in swimming. I was a swimmer when I made my Paralympic debut as a 17-year-old in Atlanta in 1996.

The transition to cycling was pretty seamless. I was getting towards the end of my swimming career and at the same time had just started training at cycling. I had a trial, won it, and two days later I was racing at the World Cup in Manchester.

I never thought the Paralympics would achieve the level of public interest that it has attracted leading into these Games. I can't wait to see the response as the Games unfold.

When I grew up I only ever knew about the Olympics. The Olympians were my heroes. There are going to be juniors out there in wheelchairs, maybe newly injured and in hospital beds, who are going to watch the Paralympics and be inspired by the names people are looking out for. And they'll kind of go: "You know what, life's not that bad. I can get on and do the same as these guys."

My first cycling hero was Chris Boardman when he won the individual pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. I followed him closely from then. I always thought I'd have a go in the velodrome and luckily I got that opportunity.

Another hero of mine has been Chris Hoy – just to see the things he's done over the years has been unbelievable. Before I even came into the cycling game, he was winning Olympic gold medals.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas