Shropshire paralympics coach Chris Furber, who works with the British para-cycling team, blogs from London 2012 as the competition finally starts.
Video - The London 2012 GB Para-cycling team says 'Hello'
A hectic two days for the Para-Cycling team. On Wednesday we had our last training session on the track. It was a shorter session than usual as the Velodrome would be closed at lunchtime due to the opening ceremony being on in the evening. This meant the session was even busier than usual but all the guys managed to stay upright so that was good.
We held a short meeting with the riders in the afternoon to give them some last minute information about their media responsibilities and also to really get them going ahead of the competition coming up in the next few days. We showed them a montage of track footage that Kevin, our Performance Analyst, had put together and then also showed them the final edit of the video that they had made of themselves – see above.
As a squad we’d made the decision not to attend the opening ceremony. It would have been amazing to be there but it’s just not the right thing to do if you want to perform at your best within the next 72 hours. Instead the staffing team assembled in our room to watch it on TV which was good for morale. Most of us were in bed by 11pm but then back up when the explosions of the fireworks rattled the apartment block at midnight. It was a truly amazing display.
And so to competition day and about time, it feels like a lifetime that we have been waiting to get racing and it’s finally here. Day one was a good start for us. Mark Colbourne won a silver medal, in the C1-3 Kilo, the gold went to an astonishing ride from a young Chinese rider with Cerebral Palsy.
Mark’s medal was the first for the ParalympicGB team and better was to come. Sarah Storey won the first Gold of the games for GB with a brilliant win in the C5 Pursuit, setting a new world record along the way in a time that would be good enough to win many Able-bodied World Track Cup events.
Three more days of track action to come before we move down to Brands Hatch for the road. Fingers crossed for more metal for the team.