Jessica Gallagher’s switch from skiing to cycling reaps bronze medal
The Daily Telegraph
Amanda Lulahm, March 20 2016
SHE won an historic medal for Australia in alpine skiing, is a world medallist in track and field and now at her first ever world track cycling championships Jessica Gallagher has ridden off with a medal.
Arguably Australia’s most versatile athlete, Gallagher has emerged as a major medal hope at the Paralympics in August less than a year after jumping into competitive cycling.
Gallagher, who is legally blind, is bidding to make the Paralympics in her third different sport after she swapped a career in athletics for alpine skiing and became Australia’s first woman to win a medal at the Winter Paralympics at the 2010 Vancouver Games – after just 150 days on the snow.
Now the 30-year-old Victoria sport star who was the first Paralympian to represent at both a Summer and Winter Paralympics, is trying her hand at cycling, with immediate effect.
On Sunday in her world championship debut, Gallagher and pilot Madison Janssen rode off with a bronze medal in the tandem 1km time trial — after teaming for the first time last August.
“We have come a long way in such a short period of time,” said Gallagher, who began to lose her sight to the rare condition, cone dystrophy, as a teenage netballer and who played alongside the likes of Diamonds players Julie Corletto, Renae Hallinan and Caitlin Thwaites as a youngster.
“We know we have so much more improvement ahead of us so it’s exciting knowing we are already up there with the world’s best.
“For me personally I trained up until July 2015 on my own not knowing if I would find a pilot to help me accomplish my dream of representing Australia as a cyclist. So to find Maddie and have her commit as much as she has I’m incredibly grateful for.
‘Every day we are getting stronger and I can’t wait to see how fast we can become as a team.”
Gallagher and Janssen, who have yet to be selected for the Rio Paralympics, will now turn their attention to winning a medal in the tandem sprint.
Original article can be found here : http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/swoop/rio-2016-jessica-gallaghers-switch-from-skiing-to-cycling-reaps-bronze-medal/news-story/11dfaad125680912b1b6a01bfa593a2d