Paralympic track cyclist share an insight into a pro-athlete's life
Living paintings caught up with Paralympic cycling champion, Sophie Thornhill. And she explained about her diet and training schedule.
In terms of training. I'm a sprinter so we, we don't spend a huge amount of time actually riding our bikes because we have a lot more areas we need to target. So we we’re spending a lot of time in the gym, which allows us to get big and strong, um, which allows us to produce more power when we ride our bikes Don't get me wrong, we still ride our bikes more than we're in the gym. You know, we're, we're on the track two, three times a week and then out on the road as well. So that can involve some short sprints efforts from 60 metres up to 500 metres, and then even further in some box. And then in terms of food, we, there's not a strict diet, everything in moderation. We're still a treat. We just need to make sure that we're getting enough protein. And so then we recover from our training sessions and our muscles can recover, tissue doesn't break down too easily. In terms of carbohydrates, we don't eat a huge amount of carbohydrates. Cause as sprinters, unfortunately, we don't do a lot. So we're seen as a little bit lazy, so we're not allowed too many carbs, which is a shame cause I love bread, but yeah, not in terms of diet it’s everything in moderation and you'll be fine.
Behind the scenes with Equestrian athlete
I'm talking today to Verity Smith who competes at international level in the exacting equestrian discipline of dressage. She's been riding since the age of three, competing since the age of five. And she also happens to be blind.
At this moment in time, I'm actually sitting in France, I've bought my horse over to France to compete. So Keith and I are here. We actually had a competition on Sunday, which was a pre son George, which is a very high level of dressage. And at the moment we are competing solely against able-bodied riders. And we won it! And considering that there’s a high wind and I had, instead of in England, I have a group of callers who helped me with my lessers around the arena because dressage is based in a 20 by 60 metre arena and we have lessers around the outside. The arena is like a stage upon which you perform a dance with your horse. And it's judged apart from just on the beauty and the elegance is a movement. It's also judged on the accuracy of the movements and the judges judge this by coordinating and seeing how close you come to the lessers around the arena. So you might have a movement between two lesser markers and you have to hit those lesser markers exactly. So you can imagine being blind. I mean, I count my strides, but obviously as we had on Sunday, high wind, sometimes the horse takes a bigger, bigger step because there's a gust of wind. So I'm allowed by the International Federation to have people standing on the lessors, which makes it a bit like a Muppet show because it's, everyone's screaming lesser at my poor horse. And we won on Sunday and we have another one on Saturday. The goal is to compete at the international able-bodied competition in Northern France in Samur, which is a big international. So we're working incredibly hard to get, make sure that we go to that. That's my aim.
An insight into the mind of a Paralympic athlete
Hi, my name is Ade Adepitan, a Paralympian and TV presenter. The first time I really, um, decided that I wanted to be an Olympian or Paralympian because I didn't know about, um, Paralympians back then or an elite athlete let's say, it was when I watched the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and I was completely blown away by just the size of the event. The, the amazing, incredible athletes. I was suddenly inspired by people like Daley Thompson. Sebastian Coe, Edwin Moses. And to see that these guys were the best in the world at what they do, it was just fantastic. I used to be so into it that when I was watching the games at home on my sofa, I’d close my eyes. And as soon as the starter gun would go off, I'd start pumping my arms and imagining that I was there with thousands of people cheering me on in the stadium. And I just wanted to be the best athlete that I could possibly be. But another reason that, and probably the real reason why I wanted to take up sport and become a great athlete is because sport made me independent. It meant that I didn't have to rely on anybody to do anything. If I wanted to go to the shops, I was fit enough to get there myself. If I wanted to go to school, if I wanted to carry stuff around, I didn't have to rely on anyone because sport made me strong and it made me confident and it made me, I was able to communicate with anybody that I wanted to communicate with. And one of the greatest things about sport is that every day you can be better than you were the day before, because when you play sport, you train and then the next day you train and you can look back and say, I did it better than I did the day before. I think that is an amazing gift. That's why I love sport.