Para-cyclist, Byron Raubenheimer is representing New Zealand In the Rio Paralympics 2016! Here’s a bit about his journey and his lead up to Rio.
He was born with Paraxial Fibular Hemimelia. In other words he was born missing his fibula, three toes on his right foot, and his right leg was shorter than the left. At just twelve years old he made the difficult decision to have his leg amputated and says this was the best decision he’s made. From there he began mountain biking, rock climbing and snowboarding. He represented New Zealand in snowboarding for a number of years. Then two and a half years ago he began cycling and has been going at it since. He competed in the 1km Time Trial at the World Champs in Italy in March and placed 9th which he is hoping to build on at the Rio Games.
We thought we’d ask him a few questions leading up to the games…
What was it like when you found out you would represent NZ at the Rio Paralympic Games?
It was such an honour to be announced in the Rio games team. Six months ago Rio wasn’t on the cards for me at all until I broke through with some solid gains and managed to build on them through the track season over summer. It’s going to be an invaluable learning experience which will greatly benefit my career looking forward to the 2020 games in Tokyo.
How are you feeling about raising over $2000 so far for your ‘Help me get to Rio Paralympics 2016’ Givealittle cause?
I’m always overwhelmed by the support I get from those around me. I’m really fortunate to have friends, family and community around me that believe in me and what I’m trying to achieve. It’s quite a struggle being a full time athlete while trying to support a career as a full time cyclist so I definitely appreciate all the support I get.
What things do you currently do in your training that is your key to success?
Over the last few months I have learnt to listen to my body and respond when it’s telling me to slow down. Between this and a more balanced recovery regime I am able to push harder than I was before and gain more from my session.
If you’d like to make a contribution to help Byron on his journey to Rio, you can donate to his cause through this link: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/byronraubenheimerpara-cyclist