Why we ride this time is about two amazing ladies.
Carol Cooke in the World Champions kit and Hannah MacDougall in the Hampton Cycles kit.
Both of these athletes have not let their disabilities get in the way of the sport they love. These two were racing at the Kew Boulevard in a time trial. Here are their stories and a couple of pics from the day.
“I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1998 and by 2001 I was wheelchair bound.
Through exercise and a bit of medical intervention I was able to get out of that wheelchair. It has been a long process to becoming World Champion but I honestly believe that cycling and exercise in general is keeping me walking.
The power of positive thinking is very important to me. I believe that if we dare to face our fears and believe in ourselves, we can accomplish anything. I could still be sitting in that wheelchair but I refuse to let my MS dictate how I live my life. I will continue to cycle not only to keep my health in check but also because I love it!”
"I have had many adventures, from the Paralmypic Games, to World Championships, juggling a sporting career with an academic career, and still squeeze in time for my mission of discovering Melbourne’s Best Baked Eggs!
I was born without my right foot and fibula, an occurrence that happens to one person in every 100,000. While no reasons or answers exist for my ‘missing bit’ (aka Stumpy), having one leg has enabled me to gain many unique experiences and has in no way, shape, or form, stopped her from pursuing my goals.
Goal setting has been a part of my life since I was nine years of age. When having a prosthetic leg made, I glanced upon a picture of a Paralympian on the wall – a picture that also incorporated three massive gold medals – and decided that becoming a Paralympian was what I wanted to do.
Since this time, I have travelled the world with the Aussie Swim team for over a decade, and am now turning my sporting pursuits towards cycling. It has been a massive learning curve, and could not have done it without the support of friends, family, and sponsors. While the topic is reasonably hot, I am also an advocate for wearing a helmet; it has saved my life at least four times.
For me, cycling is freedom (think Jack Sparrow explaining to Elizabeth Swan his love of the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Carribbean). The freedom to explore new places, meet new people, set new challenges, push my body to the limits, and live every moment.”