RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 11: Emma Foy of New Zealand holds her silver medal after taking second in the Women’s B 3000m Individual Pursuit Final on day 4 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Rio Olympic Velodrome on September 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games medallist Emma Foy has decided to take time out from the sport of Para cycling in which she has had a meteoric rise to become both a double Paralympic medallist and three-time World Champion.
The Dargaville-born Paralympian took up the suggestion to try Para cycling from a client in a gym she worked in and after impressing Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) staff at a PNZ Talent Identification camp in early 2013 she was fast tracked on to the PNZ High Performance programme.
Her first taste of international competition at the 2013 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships showed she had adapted to the training demands of Para cycling. Emma won a bronze medal in the Time Trial alongside pilot Gabrielle Vermunt.
In 2014 Foy paired up with her sighted pilot Laura Thompson to create a world leading team. The tandem pairing went on to win a total of eight World Championship medals including a World title for three consecutive years. Foy and Thompson most recently won two Rio 2016 Paralympic medals, a silver in the velodrome and a bronze medal on the road.
Foy said: “I have loved my time competing in Para cycling however it is now time to focus on other areas of my life. I have always wanted to study Law, and this year I will start a Law degree at Waikato University. I am excited about what the future could hold.”
Foy recently attended a PNZ Para cycling Talent Identification Camp run and was excited by the calibre of the individuals at the camp. She said: “It was such an honour to represent my country in Rio recently. It is really exciting to see that we have inspired so many people to not only get involved in Para sport but also think differently about disability. I will certainly be watching how the new Para athletes progress as I believe there are exciting times ahead for Para sport in New Zealand.”
Malcolm Humm (High Performance Director, Paralympics New Zealand) said: “Emma is an incredible person and Paralympian. We thank Emma for her inspirational performances and ongoing professionalism. We wish Emma all the best for her future endeavours.”
Foy will continue her involvement in Para sport this weekend but attending the ACC Paralympics New Zealand Open Day in Christchurch at Cowles Stadium (10am – 3pm) with fellow Rio 2016 Paralympians Laura Thompson, William Stedman, Caitlin Dore and Andrew May.
Foy was a key member of the New Zealand Paralympic Team that produced performances at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games making it the country’s most successful Paralympic Games ever. The New Zealand Paralympic Team secured a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists – 9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze – beating its pre-Games target of 18 by 3. Overall, the Team placed 13 out of 159 on the medal table, its highest placing ever, and defended its title of number 1 in the world for medals per capita won during the London 2012 Paralympics.