Jody Cundy MBE

Jody Cundy

Areas of Interest

Sports



Biography

Jody Cundy is a Paralympian, multiple gold medal-winning swimmer and cyclist, and avid promoter of disability sport.

Jody was born with a deformed right foot and had the limb amputated below the knee when he was just three years old. He has never allowed this apparent setback to limit his ambitions and by the age of ten Jody was racing for King's Lynn swimming club.

In 1994 at the age of sixteen Jody made his international debut as a swimmer, representing Great Britain at the World Swimming Championships in Valetta. A relative unknown, Jody surprised everyone by taking gold in the 100 metres butterfly. Over a ten year period he was to win 23 international swimming medals, including double gold in Sydney in 2000.

In 2005 Jody was tempted onto a bicycle and he was immediately marked out by the Great Britain coaches as a potential prospect. In 2006 Jody helped the British team set a new world record in the team sprint and in 2007 Jody took double gold at the world championships in Bordeaux. This year at the London Paralympics he won bronze in the 4km individual pursuit.

In 2009 Jody was awarded an MBE for his services to disability sport and in 2011 he set up the Para-T Cycling Team, consisting entirely of para athletes and the new team is already delivering remarkable success on the international paracycling circuit.



Citation

"Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Jody Cundy, MBE for the award of Doctor of Health Sciences, honoris causa.

Jody Cundy is a Paralympian, multiple gold medal-winning swimmer and cyclist, and avid promoter of disability sport.

Jody was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, with a deformed right foot and had the limb amputated below the knee when he was just three years old, but he has never allowed this apparent setback to limit his ambitions. His talent as a swimmer wasn't immediately obvious. At his first swimming lesson at the age of five, Jody jumped into the pool and quickly sank to the bottom, saved only by a fully-clothed parent who leaped in to rescue him. But a little training can go a long way, and by the age of ten Jody was racing for King's Lynn swimming club.

In 1994 at the age of sixteen, Jody made his international debut as a swimmer, representing Great Britain at the World Swimming Championships in Valetta. A relative unknown, with a personal-best time way outside the leading contenders, Jody surprised everyone by taking gold in the 100 metres butterfly. Then in 1996 Jody won gold at the Atlanta Paralympics with a world record time in the 100 metres butterfly and in 2000 he won double gold in Sydney in the 100 metres butterfly and the 4-by-100 metres freestyle, both in world record times. Over a ten year period he was to win 23 international swimming medals.

In 2005 Jody was tempted onto a bicycle, riding at an open day at the Newport Velodrome. His start in cycling was rather more auspicious than his early attempts at swimming, as he was immediately marked out by the Great Britain coaches as a potential prospect. It is remarkable that later that same year he would take gold at the National Cycling Championships with a new British record in the 'flying 200'.

In 2006 Jody helped the British team set a new world record in the team sprint, before going on to win gold in the one kilometre time trial at the World Track Championships in Switzerland, also in world-record time. In 2007 Jody took double gold at the world championships in Bordeaux. Then, on the biggest stage of all, he matched this feat with double gold at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 in the one kilometre time trial and the team sprint, the two world records merely provided the icing on the cake.

Jody has continued to win gold medals and set new records in both the 'kilo' and the team sprint and in recent years has given himself the added challenge of competing in the longer four kilometre event. This year at the London Olympics, despite the disappointment of being disqualified from the 1km time trial, he went on to win bronze in the 4km individual pursuit.

In 2009 Jody was awarded an MBE for his services to disability sport.

In 2011 he set up the Para-T Cycling Team, consisting entirely of para athletes and the new team is already delivering remarkable success on the international paracycling circuit.

Jody is a world and Paralympic swimming and cycling champion, one of a very select group of elite athletes to win gold medals in two different sports and is an inspiration to anyone seeking to overcome adversity.

Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Jody Cundy MBE for the award of Doctor of Health Sciences, honoris causa."