Strictly’s Jody Cundy’s disability explained as he beats odds with world titlesSeptember 19, 2023
Strictly: Jody Cundy on his decision to join the 2023 cast
Strictly Come Dancing 2023 hopeful Jody Cundy is no stranger to a challenge, as his 23 World Championship titles prove.
The 44-year-old Paraylmpic athlete has won eight gold medals and has set world records while representing Great Britain in swimming and cycling.
In 2021, he became the first man in Paralympics GB history to win medals at seven consecutive games and was made a CBE for his services to cycling last year.
Most recently, he set a new world record in the 200m time trial at the men’s C4 omnium in Glasgow.
Now, he is preparing for a whole new challenge on the dance floor ahead of the Paralympics next year.
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So, how does he do it all?
Jody has lived an active life with the help of a prosthetic leg.
He was born with a deformed right foot which was amputated at the age of three.
Despite this, Jody has never allowed his apparent setback to limit his ambitions.
By the age of 10, he was racing for King’s Lynn swimming club and six years later made his debut as an international swimmer.
While he was scarcely known in the public eye at the time, Jody represented Great Britain at the World Swimming Championships in Valetta and won gold in the 100 metres butterfly.
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In 2009, he was awarded an MBE for his services to Disability sports, and in 2017 this was upgraded to an OBE for his services to Swimming and Cycling.
Fast forward the years and Jody is now one of the most recognisable names in the sports world.
Ahead of the Paralympics in Paris 2024, he is keen to raise his profile even more on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Jody has admitted the competition will be his most “daunting” to date, but is keen to show viewers what someone with a disability can do.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, the cyclist said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, you don’t get do it every year. People don’t get asked to do this all of the time.
“This isn’t a Paralympic year, so it’s a way of kind of promoting disabilities, promoting myself and getting myself out there in the public eye.
“So hopefully when it comes to the games, it gives them somebody to follow and they know what Paralympics is and how it works.”
Jody also hopes his efforts will change some misconceptions of those who are disabled, whilst pushing people out of their comfort zones.
He added: “Even able bodied people who are like, ‘I’m on the sofa and he’s doing it with one leg. Maybe I can get up there and do it’.
“So, yeah when the opportunity comes to do something like this. It was pretty easy to say yes but it took a few conversations and kind of a lot of courage to just go, ‘yeah I’m going to do this’.”
Strictly Come Dancing airs tonight at 6.35pm on BBC One.
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