Team Navy Road to the DoD Warrior Games Featured: Cycling
WASHINGTON -- In this series, we will explore each of the twelve sports that will be featured during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games: archery, cycling, field, golf, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting (precision air sports), sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
Whether athletes are practicing at home or competing during the DoD Warrior Games, putting in the time on your bike and properly fueling your body are the keys to success with cycling.
“The more, the better. Success in cycling is achieved by hours and hours on sitting behind the handlebars, riding your bike,” said Jiri Jezek, former Czech road and tracking racing cycling and 11-time Paralympic medalist.
With cycling, your body is your engine, so it’s important to take care of it, especially off the bike. Fueling your body well, while eating a well-rounded nutritional diet and not burdening it with excess calories from junk food, is one of the key components to success in the sport.
Cycling requires practice, fueling your body, and endurance. Cycling requires dedicated to unlock the athlete’s potential; but it is within reach of anyone with a dream and desire.
From the DoD Warrior Games events to the sport’s origin, here is a list of four facts to know.
- Sport Origin: Para-cycling originated in the 1980s, starting with visually impaired riders who competed on a tandem with a sighted partner. During the Stoke Mandeville/New York 1984 Summer Games, Para cycling road races debuted. In 1996, during the Atlanta Games, track cycling was included, as well as a variety of disabilities in various functional categories. Handcycling was added as an exhibition event during the Sydney 2000 Games.
- Paralympics History: Road cycling events were introduced as a Paralympic sport during the Stoke Mandeville/New York 1984 Games, while track cycling made its Paralympic debut during the Atlanta 1992 Games. Now, Para cycling is considered the third biggest sport listed on the Paralympic Games’ program, in terms of medal events, after athletics, also known as track and field, and swimming.
- Warrior Games Competition Style: During the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games, the cycling competition is composed of two major events: the Road Racing and the Time Trial competitions. Athletes may compete in one or both competitions, riding one of five different cycle types, across 16 classification categories. The five cycle types include upright cycle, recumbent bicycle, handcycle cycle, tandem upright cycle and tandem recumbent bicycle (a new event for the 2021 DoD Warrior Games.) Apart from the two tandem cycle events, male and female athletes compete separately in all competitions, racing different distances based on cycle type, gender and classification category. An athlete’s cycle type is determined by their classification category.
- Cycling Classification: Sport classification is a system that provides a level playing field for athletes competing in adaptive sports. The DoD Warrior Games will offer athletes the ability to in one of five different cycle types, across 16 classification categories.
Follow along on Team Navy's Road to the Warrior Games on the official Team Navy webpage, Facebook, and Instagram, and join us in cheering for the team at the DoD Warrior Games!
Article originally published on May 26, 2021 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command