Home' The Eye : August 23rd 2012 Contents 23.8.12 The Eye
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Master Painter s Southland
Financial Member s
Ascot Amcal Pharmacy
706 Tay St, Invercargill
ph 03 2177 696
Kate's the Answer
What: The Paralympic Games provide a platform
for athletes with physical and visual disabilities to
compete on a world stage.
When and where: August 29 to September 9,
Who: Watch out for Southland-based tandem
cyclist Phillipa Gray with pilot Laura Thompson.
NZ team: Has 26 athletes from seven sports, going
head to head with 150 other nations.
Tickets: A record 2.1 million tickets have been sold,
outstripping the previous Paralympics record set
four years ago in Beijing by 300,000.
All geared up to inspire
On target: Phillipa Gray makes use of her training corner in her
Invercargill home before heading to the Paralympic Games.
Photo: FRANCES WILKINSON
Southland Paralympic Games cyclist will be
pedalling for all disabled people in London,
reports Frances Wilkinson
When Southland-based cyclist
Phillipa Gray competes at the
Paralympic Games in London
at the end of the month she
will be doing it to inspire
others living with a disability.
Gray will compete with her
tandem pilot Laura Thomp-
son in two road cycling
events, including the women's
individual road race and the
individual time trial, as well
the women's individual pur-
suit and individual kilo on the
The tandem events involve
one able-bodied rider as the
pilot and a Paralympic athlete
at the back of the bike.
The 23-year-old Gray was
born with usher syndrome, a
condition that impairs her
vision and hearing.
She said it was a ''huge
honour'' to represent New
Zealand in a sport she started
only three years ago.
''I hope that others with a
disability can realise that
anyone can do what they aim
for and I hope to encourage
people to realise that they can
do what they set their minds
''At the end of the day, a
disability is just a challenge
and you should embrace it
and make it what you want,''
Before cycling, Gray spent
eight years as a rower but
remembers learning to ride a
bike on her parents' diary
farm on the Hauraki Plains.
''I was a rower for many years
before I even thought about
cycling and before I even
thought about representing
New Zealand at the Para-
lympics,'' she said.
Gray moved to Invercargill at
the start of last year and said
she had had a positive
experience living in South-
land. Now she was striving for
a podium finish and personal
bests in her four events.
''All I can ask for is a personal
best and hope that it is enough
to earn a medal,'' she said.
Fellow Southlander Kylie
Young will also compete at the
London Paralympics, acting
as the pilot for Wellington's
former world champion Jayne
Parsons, who is blind and who
will ride in four tandem
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