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.

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn