SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

Defying all odds

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Jeffrey Yates

Defying all odds

A few weeks back more than thirty thousand cyclists took part in the 20th edition of the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge. This event takes place annually bringing thousands of cyclists together from all over South Africa and many parts of the World.

A grueling 95km loop starting at Riversands Commercial Park in Fourways, takes you through suburbs and cities, a ‘quick” lap around Kylami Race track, fast downhills and extremely steep inclines, it has it all. With over 1400m of climbing though it brings most athletes to tears, Monday physio’s are certainly not complaining. The hot sun beating down on you for hours, the increased burning sensation of your muscles with every pedal stroke, the constant illusions of there been water holes at every hilltop, the continuous fight in your head and wanting to throw in the towel, sounds like fun right?

Now, imagine completing this event in a hand-cycle (effectively a reclined bicycle), using nothing more than your upper body, mainly biceps and triceps. Well 8 differently abled hand-cyclists riding for team Adaptive Sports Fund defying all odds completed this event, some doing it faster than abled bodied cyclists. Incredible right, well that’s the word that comes to mind. Can you imagine the determination or shear stubbornness not wanting to quit, is ‘quit” even a word in their vocabulary, probably not. The mental and physical challenges these guys must have gone through for hours on end. I can’t believe there’s even a comparison, it’s the difference between walking and crawling i guess. In the words of Bert Le Clos, “Unbelievable”

Well, these adaptive athletes without a doubt are my heroes. I draw so much inspiration from them and maybe just one day i’ll be able to cycle along side them and say “I too have completed the hardest road cycling race in South Africa”.

I salute you all.
No Limits. Just Life!
www.adaptivesportsfund.org

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