Jody Cundy has unveiled the prosthetic leg that he hopes will help him add to his gold medal count at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where he is reigning Kilo and team time trial champion for his class.
The custom-designed limb, made by the same company that supplies prosthetic legs to South African runner Oscar Pistorius, has a union flag motive plus the names of all those who have helped the 33-year-old Cundy amass ten Paralympic and World Championship cycling gold medals in his career to date – he has another six in his former sport swimming.
Graphics depicting those ten cycling golds also appear on the leg, which Cundy, born with a deformed foot which was amputated when he was aged three years, unveiled yesterday at the Manchester Velodrome.
“It’s a whole new leg for London,” he said. “It’s a refinement of the leg I had in Beijing with new positioning and alignment and refined aerodynamics. I think the leg looks stunning and it is a thank you to everyone who has helped me on my journey to the Games, right from when I started competing up until now.
“I love customising my leg,” he went on. “With so many restrictions on kit and other pieces of equipment it’s nice to have a bit of creative freedom and stand out from the crowd.”
Gary Forshaw, who designed the leg on behalf of Iceland-based Össur, added: “In the initial meetings we had to discuss the design Jody already had a fairly good idea of what he wanted, so from there it was just a case of getting those ideas on paper and then eventually onto the prosthesis.
“The aim was to create an eye-catching, iconic design, and to find a way to include all the names without distracting too much from the overall look – and hopefully we've managed to achieve that in the end. I think it looks great! “
Richard Hirons, lead prosthetist at Össur, said: “It happens to be a thing of beauty and I’m very satisfied with the result.
“We’ve been very pleased at Össur to work with Jody and his coaching and support team on this collaborative project. We know that Jody will do his best when he’s called to the line, as he always does.
“In prosthetic terms we’ve been granted the opportunity to pay attention to details that often we’re not able to do. But whatever our contribution, it is Jody who has put in the hours and the effort that is the real headline. And for that, he has our support, admiration and best wishes.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.