Andy Lewis: it’s always supposed to be for fun
British paratriathlete Andy Lewis lost his leg at just 16 years after a serious accident. Instead of giving up, he decided to challenge himself, stay fit and focused and become the best he can be. He has been competing for Great Britain all over the world and is the British Elite Champion for Paraduathlon, British Champion for triathlon (2015), European and World champion (both 2016) and Paralympic gold medallist in Rio 2016. Andy will not be missing at the start of FORD CHALLENGEPRAGUE race, which starts the 27th July in the heart of Prague.
Why did you choose FORD CHALLENGEPRAGUE race, what do you think about this event and what is your goal?
I wanted to participate in this race due to taking part in a few other Challenge Family races and was very impressed with organisation. I would like to race through the city it’s beautiful. I would like as a para athlete to go under 5 hours, I have been trying for the last few races.
What other competitions are ahead of you and at which events within Challenge Family have you already competed?
This one is my next race before taking part in the ITU World Championships in Lausanne. I have already competed in Salou and at The Championship in Samorin.
Do you plan to compete in other races within Challenge Family series?
My absolute dream is to get a place in Roth maybe next year or 2021.
Will it be more attractive for you and other para athletes if Challenge Family creates a category for para athletes with long-term ranking?
Yes massively, lots of athletes are asking me about this, I feel that athletes would realise that challenge are not just about able bodied people, they are about inclusion in the sport we all love.
Do you prepare for Paralympics in Tokyo?
I’m taking each day one day at a time, I’m aiming to do my best and see what happens, if honest my heart in now more in middle distance and spending time with my family, I’ve spent many years taking part in elite sport, I am not retiring just taking a change of direction.
What are the differences in training between you and athletes without disability?
We train just as hard as they do. We have lots of special equipment that we have to constantly monitor.
How would you support amateurs who still consider the start at FORD CHALLENGEPRAGUE?
If you are thinking about, just do it. Life is full of opportunities and we learn after every single one. I know that when I considered starting middle distance racing I didn’t even know if I would make the bike cut off, I didn’t care but I did. It gave me confidence to continue each time. Have a plan, start small and grow it to ensure you have a life balance. After all if you are starting out remember it’s ALWAYS supposed to be for fun.