As an Olympic Speaker, Mark Colbourne MBE has an inspirational story to tell of an active man who broke his back in 2009 – when he was 40 years old – in a near fatal accident while paragliding. Of course this was a setback but just two years later he was on his way to winning medals galore at para-cycling events around the world.
Mark says that he “never gave up working towards a life that would take me to places in my mind and my heart that would one day be fulfilled and successful”. This attitude culminated in him taking part in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and winning a gold medal in the Individual pursuit C1 and silvers in the Kilo and the 1km time trial C1-3 – breaking the world record in the qualification round and in the final.
The Olympic speaker has won too many medals to list here but among the highlights are gold medals at the 2011 Wales Grand Prix para-cycling track event in the Kilo and the 3km Pursuit. In the same year, he also won silver medals at the Para-cycling World Cup in Canada, P1 Para-cycling in Italy, the Para-cycling Open in Belgium and the Para-cycling Road World Championships in Denmark.
Apart from his London Paralympics successes, 2012 saw Mark Colbourne win a 3km gold medal and a Kilo silver medal at the Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles, and time trial silver medals in the Para-cycling World Cup events in Italy and Spain (feats he replicated at the same events the following year). Also in 2012 – this time at the British Para-cycling Track Championships – the Olympic speaker won three gold medals: in the 3km Individual Pursuit, the Kilo and the Flying 200m sprint (in which he also established a new world record). Finally, Mark won a gold medal in the road race at the Para-cycling World Cup in Italy, retiring the following month.
Since then, Marc has been the Paralympic Ambassador for the Lee Valley Velo Park, a role that helps him to continue the legacy of London 2012 and “inspire the next generation and beyond”. And he has worked extensively with the national cycling charity CTC.
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