We interviewed World Champion Elite Paralympic Cyclist Jozef Metelka to get his views on cycling, coping with adversity and wellbeing
Jozef Metelka is truly an inspiration to anyone who has faced adversity. Always a keen sports enthusiast, he came to Oxford Brookes in 2007 to study Sports and Coaching.
However his life was turned upside down in 2009 after he lost a leg following a serious motorcycle accident. After his accident, he was determined to get back to enjoy skiing, mountain-biking tennis and many other sports. In fact, rather than being a hindrance, losing his leg made him even more determined.
In 2009 he completed his studies at Oxford Brookes University. Since becoming an elite cyclist in 2014, Josef has gone onto to do amazing things, breaking world records, becoming world champion and even racing against world track elite cyclists.
Why is cycling important ?
Cycling is really important for the environment. It provides an alternative mode of transport. In fact, cycling can be seen as a combination of saving the planet and improving your health.
And you don’t have to be an elite sportsman or woman to enjoy cycling. Sports like cycling give you a sense of freedom and wellbeing.
They are also good for motivating youngsters to get into sport. Through cycling youngsters can gain self-belief and learn many useful skills.
Events like the Bike Off are great because they raise the profile of cycling and encourage people to get involved, who perhaps didn’t think that cycling was for them.
What’s next for you ?
My big dream is to bring cycling and Para cycling closer together, and to change people’s perception of Para cycling. We are also elite athletes. At the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow in November 2016 I competed against elite cyclists and could have made the top ten with a bit more training and preparation.