A CIVIC reception and victory parade is being planned for Paralympian Jody Cundy after his bronze medal success at the London Games.
Jody told the Citizen that he was overwhelmed by the support from Fenland and the messages left on his Twitter page but he doesn’t feel that he deserves such a fuss after only coming away from the Games with a bronze medal.
“It’s nice to have a celebration, but I almost feel like I don’t deserve it with just a bronze medal. I wish I could have provided a gold medal for everyone,” he said. “There is something special about being Paralympic champion and being a Fenland Paralympic champion would have been even more special.”
The celebrations in Wisbech are expected to include a parade or tour on Vivien, the historic fire engine. All details have yet to be confirmed but town clerk Erbie Murat said: “Certainly it is our intention to do something for Jody as far as celebrating his achievement is concerned.”
This follows on from 2010 when the town council granted him the rare honour of the Freedom of the Town.
Jody came away from the 4km C4 pursuit with a bronze medal but his main event – the 1km time trial – was one of the biggest upsets of the Games. Jody was disqualified after being refused a re-ride when his bike appeared to slip coming out of the gate.
He said: “I didn’t know how to react. It was four years of sacrifice for one minute’s worth of work for one day in August and it was all taken away by someone.
“I was gutted for my family. They had struggled to get tickets and had managed to get everyone in there. But then they didn’t get to see me race. There were 6,000 people in the stadium who didn’t get to see me race. I was in the form of my life. It was very disappointing.”
His bronze was more remarkable due to the fact Jody had only had one training session since February, just days before the race. He had put all his focus on the kilo which made his disqualification all the more bitter.
Jody (33) confirmed that he wanted to be in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as he has “unfinished business” but he would have to see how it goes.
“The kilo is very demanding on your body and takes a lot of training and I’m not getting any younger, so I’ll have to play it by ear,” he said.
There are more competitions coming up and he is racing in Manchester in two weeks time for the national championships. He doesn’t expect to be able to pull off his best race, as the equipment won’t be as good as at the Paralympics, but he is hoping for a good performance.
Now the attention moves to former Doddington Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, who runs in the T44 100m final at 9.15pm tomorrow (Thursday).
Jonnie currently holds the world record for the 100m, taken from South African Oscar Pistorius, and is one of the hot favourites to take gold in the Olympic stadium.
• For more see pages 65 and 68.