It already feels like a life time ago, but a few weeks back I was given the amazing opportunity to be the official photographer for the UCI(International Cycling Union( Para-cycling World Championships that took place in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
But before the games officially got underway, Para Athletes representing South Africa, thought was important to educate and talk to various schools around Pietermaritzburg about the champs, as well as about being a paraplegic. I was fortunate to be involved at talks that took place at Merchiston, Carter and Athlone schools respectively. The talks were very educational and motivational for all pupils.
The games official program started with the opening ceremony, that took place at Midmar Dar, also the location for the time trial. There were various speakers that took to the podium, as well as various performances from locals to get the international crowd into the local fever. It was great to start off with something simple, as it gave me the opportunity to shake off the nerves that I carry before any event. I believe nerves are a good thing.
First event on the program, was 2 days of time trials. This was something new for me, I have photographed able body time trials before, but never a para-cycling time trial. All I can say, its enough to take your berth away and put a tear in your eyes.
All athletes that took part are winners, it takes real heart to compete in such a challenging event. But for the few, the had a real reason to celebrate.
After 2 days of the brutal time trial, it was time for riders to head down the hill; into the heart of Pietermaritzburg, for 2 days of exciting road racing.
Just like the time trial, there was a road event for all categories. It made photographing athletes quite tricky and challenging, as not all categories did the same amount of laps, but I enjoy a challenge. The road race route was a mixture of everything, all I can say is that I'm extremely thankful I had a motorbike escort or I would never have got around in time.
There was some amazing racing by everyone, and it was such a pleasure to capture the event! Well done to all medal winners, and special well done to Team Germany, for dominating the podium during the entire event.