Paralympic legend Jody Cundy swaps track for tango as he signs up for Strictly Come Dancing

The five-time Paralympic gold medallist will be treading a different kind of boards later this year

Jody Cundy at the 2023 Glasgow World Championships
(Image credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Last Friday evening, Jody Cundy was pulling on his 14th consecutive rainbow jersey as world champion in the C4 Kilo Time Trial. Later this year, the eight-time Paralympic gold medallist will be pulling on a sequinned jersey as one of the contestants on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

The man with 21 gold medals on the track at the World Championships will be taking part in the samba rather than the sprint in the reality TV series. He was born with a deformed right foot which saw his lower right leg being amputated at the age of three, and follows in the tracks of fellow Paralympians Ellie Simmonds, Jonnie Peacock and Will Bayley in taking to the small screen to dance.

Cundy originally represented GB at swimming, winning three golds at the Paralympics in 1996 and 2000, before he switched to track cycling, a discipline which has seen him win five gold medals since 2008. He was the first British man in Paralympics history to win medals at seven different games after the Tokyo games.

He also has 20 world titles on the track, the latest being in the the C4 1km time trial (kilo) at this year's Glasgow super worlds.

“This [world title] is probably the best of the lot,” he told the media, including Cycling Weekly, inside the velodrome, post-victory. “There’s a massive home crowd, I mean, that’s amazing. I was just riding round that last lap and all I could hear was noise, and it was getting louder and louder.” 

The win came in what has been a difficult year for Cundy, who has been battling depression following an injury. “In that time, I put on weight and just lost the motivation to be on the bike,” he said, before adding with a smile: “And here we are, talking to you about another world title in the bag.” 

He will now be aiming for a different kind of victory in the ballroom, an adventure which he said he was looking forward to.

"Excited to be welcomed into the Strictly family and throw myself head first into the world of ballroom dancing," Cundy said in a BBC press release. "[It's] so far away from what I’m used to, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone, especially as I’m always last onto the dance floor. [I] can’t wait to get stuck in, bring on the glitter and sequins!"

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