“I prefer to perform well in present races, to make a good show for the spectators and to please my fans. There are lot of successful riders in para-cycling history and I am happy just to be one of them.”
Editor’s Note: In the August edition of the IPC’s official magazine, The Paralympian, we will profile Czech para-cyclist Jiri Jezek. With London 2012 just around the corner, we thought we would give readers a brief preview of what they can look forward to reading.
Should the Czech Republic’s Jiri Jezek win another two medals at London 2012, he would overtake Australia’s Christopher Scott as the most successful Paralympic cyclist ever.
The “one-legged wonder,” as he has been referred to, already has five Paralympic golds, three silvers and a bronze on his resume spanning the last three Games on the road and track.
At age 37, Jezek, has achieved more than he ever imagined after losing his right leg below the knee in a car accident when he was 11.
He now has the chance to crack the history books.
“Honestly, I do not think about that,” Jezek said. “I prefer to perform well in present races, to make a good show for the spectators and to please my fans. There are lot of successful riders in para-cycling history and I am happy just to be one of them.”
In London this summer, Jezek will race the 4km individual pursuit on the track and the individual time trial on the road.
He is the defending Paralympic and world champion in the former and in the latter, he is the reigning Paralympic champion but hopes to better his silver-medal finish from the 2011 UCI World Championships.
With several elite races in the Czech Republic already completed in 2012 as well as the UCI Para-Cycling World Cup, Jezek has almost spent more time on his bike than off in recent months.
“It´s always funny when my coach tries to keep me off of my bike,” Jezek said. “He thinks that I need more rest. Sometimes, I promise him not to go for a training session, but of course I do.
“Bad luck comes when I meet him somewhere on the road.”