2016 Paralympian Goldy Fuchs has his sights firmly set on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as he builds up his training regime for the pinnacle of sport.
The T2 tricyclist celebrated winning the overall T2 UCI World Cup leader’s jersey during the 2016 season and marks attending the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games as the highlight of his racing career.
Living with cerebral palsy after being involved in a car accident when he was five months old, one of the areas that Goldy struggles with is keeping his balance and was unable to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. Being a high achiever in sport started from as early as 12-years-old when he won provincial colours for cycling swimming and athletics. He has also set national records and won numerous gold medals at the Nedbank National Championships, organised by the South African Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD), while representing the Western Cape.
Goldy’s believes that a risk paid off after deciding to participate in the senior category whilst still a junior cyclist in 2010. He believes that this decision effectively launched his career after he secured first place in the Time Trial and Road Races at the Sa Road National Championships held that year. Since then, he has competed internationally in 14 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup events, five Para-cycling Road World Championships and one Paralympic Games – bringing home 10 medals from his international competitions.
But right now, Goldy’s main focus is Tokyo 2020. “I’m training hard for local competition and for the UCI World Cups with the hope that I will be able to get to these events,” he said. “In order to achieve this goal, I have to qualify to compete Internationally each year by competing in the SA Road National Championships, and also achieve favourable results in international competitions in order to accumulate enough UCI points for possible slots to the Paralympics.”
Apart from South Africa being geographically located so far from the main hub of activity in Para-cycling road races in Europe, which impacts on travel time and fatigue, the financial and team support infrastructure challenges are very real as Goldy continues to push his abilities in all the spheres of being a professional athlete.
“Unlike able-bodied cyclists, I experience various struggles to get to a race and to prepare. I require additional help and support on the day.”
Despite not raising enough funding to participate in more UCI World Cups during the 2018 season, Goldy is thankful for the opportunity and support that he did receive to participate in one UCI World Cup (Emmen) in the lead up to the UCI World Championships in Maniago, Italy. The UCI World Cup in Emmen (NED) carried extra importance as it provided vital route experience since the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships will be held on the same route.
Although his circumstances are challenging, Goldy remains highly self-motivated and believes that “whatever happens in life happens for a reason, and this is why I can always stay positive, no matter what the circumstances. I can adapt quickly to any situation and always look forward to the next challenge,” he said.