A few months ago I caught up with Shane Kelly for a chat in his ‘Off the Bike’ series for Bike Exchange. We chat about well basically everything! My transition from skiing to cycling, how I ride a single bike as a vision impaired person, tandem track cycling in pursuit of the Rio Paralympics & a summer Paralympic medal & the incredible people & support I’ve found in the cycling community to help me get there. Yep they’ve converted me well & truly into a cyclist addict! Please find the article and link below…! 🙂
‘Gearing Up For Rio’
Jess Gallagher is a prodigious athlete, having represented Australia in both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. Jess was the first Australian woman to win a medal at the Winter Games at Vancouver in 2010, and most recently won bronze at the Sochi Paralympics for the Giant Slalom.
What makes Jess’ story so incredible is that she is legally blind, having been diagnosed with cone dystrophy when she was 17 years old. The degenerative condition has taken away 90 per cent of Jess’ central vision, but that hasn’t slowed her down in the slightest.
On the contrary… Jess still gets out on the road to ride her bike and is now looking to compete on the track at Rio 2016. So if her campaign is successful it means Jess will be representing Australia in yet another sporting discipline… Amazing!
Listening to Jess talk about her training and racing is mind-boggling. Imagine going out for your early morning ride before the sun rises, but with only the lowest of low light beams available to you. Or imagine racing down a Black Diamond descent at full-gas, hardly been able to make out any objects as you fly by… When you start trying to ‘see’ how Jess experiences the world, you really begin to appreciate that Jess isn’t the type of person who simply confronts a fear or an obstacle – she eats them for breakfast.
In another great Off The Bike episode, Jess talks to Shane Kelly about her love of sport, how it has impacted her life and what motivates her to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
She also talks about her hands-on approach as a Board Director for Vision 20/20 Australia and the work she does helping people that are vision impaired and educating the public about common health problems that can contribute to vision impairments.