Rio 2016 Paralympics – Road videos, media and more

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-21-21-37First, all my thoughts are with the family, friends, and team-mates of Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad, who died during the men’s C4-5 road race.  So tragic, and a reminder that cycling is always a dangerous sport.  Articles about his death on the BBC and the Guardian – and about the tribute to Golbarnezhad at the Closing Ceremony.

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While the Rio 2016 Track Para-Cycling was almost all broadcast live, so we got a LOT of video, the Paralympic Road Racing wasn’t, so there’s less here – but I’ve got you some video, photos, articles, tweets and more.

Unfortunately, a lot of the videos are geo-restricted – some of the Paralympics YouTube clips are only available in countries without their own TV (but it’s hard to tell, so click each one to check – sorry), and the individual TV stations and often videos on news sites are often geo-retricted to their countries.  However, you can use VPN services like Hola or Betternet, to see them (if you don’t know about VPNs, INRNG explains them)

Please forgive that fact I’ve got a lot of British-based coverage – it’s because it’s really good, and obviously because I get to see it.  I’ve got coverage from other countries when I’ve seen it, but if you’ve seen good coverage from other countries that you want to share, please do let me know, and I’ll edit it in.

First, some general links and media – the Rio 2016 Road Cycling page, including all the schedule, results, and other general information about the courses.  Overall report of the whole Paralympics road cycling on the UCI’s website.

UK-based highlights on the Channel 4 Paralympics site.  USA video highlights on Team USA‘s website, but it’s all forbidden from my UK-based server.  There are lots of video highlights of the Australian Paralympics on the 7Two YouTube, and the New Zealand Paralympians on the Attitude Live YouTube – for example this video profile of Amanda Cameron.

Day 1 – the ITTs

 

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Meet some of the 2016 Paralympic Cycling women – Part 5, Trike riders

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-21-21-37As we’re into the Road Cycling races at the 2016 Paralympic Games, and unfortunately they’re not being streamed or broadcast, I’m writing about some of the riders competing in the Time Trials and Road Races.  I’ve looked at the Tandem pairs, C1-3 and C4-5 bike riders and the H1-3 and  the H4-5 Handcyclists, and now it’s time for the smallest Paracyling category, the tricycle riders.

The main reason a rider would use a trike is if she had a condition that affects her balance, for example Cerebal Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, or a brain injury.  Some riders use bikes adapted to three wheels, and others are specially designed for racing.  racing trikes can be expensive, are heavier, and less maneuverable than 2 wheel bikes, especially taking corners and on any kind of off-camber surface – although watching the top tricyclists cornering is a thing of beauty.  There two subcategories of UCI trike riders, T1 and T2, with T1 riders more effected by their disabilities than the T2s, but their races are combined for the Paralympics, with only 1 gold.

The Tricycle Individual Time Trials are on Wednesday 14th September, and the Road Race is on Friday 16th, and I’ll tell you a little bit about the course underneath the rider information.  If you click those links, you’ll get the startlists, live timing for the ITT and hopefully for the Road Race too.

Let’s have a look at some of the riders racing trikes in Rio

Carol Cooke, T2, Australia

Cooke is a Canadian who had worked in the Police Force, including working with in an undercover drug squad, before moving to Australia in 1994 and taking citizenship.  She talks about how when she was first diagnosed with MS in 1998, she was told to basically prepared to die – you can watch a video about that, and how she coped with change.  But obviously she didn’t, citing cycling as what keeps her out of a wheelchair – and now she’s in Rio, aged 55, racing her third Paralympics

Her first was in Beijing, where she was a Para-rower, before switching to Para-cycling, after buying a trike “on a whim”, and winning gold in the mixed gender T1-2 ITT at the London Games.  As a born-and-bred Londoner, I love how she talked about 2012 in this video:

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The Paralympics – and why I don’t understand some cycling fans

I loved the Olympics, and was walking around in a daze of happiness, with a huge grin all over my face, and I always knew I’d love the Paralympics too, but I didn’t realise HOW much I would.  To me, it’s been even better, even more accessible, even more inspirational.  Part of that is down to Channel 4’s really excellent coverage of the Games, which emphasises the stories and personalities of the athletes, and (to me) gets the tone exactly right, balancing explaining the disabilities and the sports with celebrating the achievements with making sure we all know how damn hard these people have had to work to get here.  So I’m very happy – but I’m also genuinely confused about what it seems to be showing about some British cycling fans.

I stress British, because I know some countries – notably the USA – aren’t showing the Paralympics at all, and that’s just shitty for fans and disrespectful to their amazing athletes.  If you’re in a country that’s not showing these excellent Games, check out Channel 4’s youtube.  It’s Brit-centric, understandably, but it’s full of highlights videos.  As a start, here’s Sarah Storey winning the C5 Individual Pursuit on day 1.

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