On the road to Rio with Canberra's athletes

Athlete Sue Powell

The road to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio has been made a little easier for 30 local athletes who've received a financial grant to help with costs of training, competition and equipment as they strive to represent Australia.

We caught up with local athlete Sue Powell as she prepares to compete in Rio.

How does the grant make a difference to your dream of competing in Rio?

The grant enabled me to work with a local company, Momentum Sports and Rehabilitation, to build a new custom orthosis for cycling. My disability has resulted in a paralysed leg below the knee and the orthosis holds my foot steady to allow me to put power through to the pedal. Lighter and stronger than my old orthosis,  I've already seen PBs since using the new brace.

What advice would you give to budding sport stars?

Love what you do, if you don't really enjoy getting out to training on a good day then you will never commit to it on the bad days. Getting started is about motivation, but continuing to do the right thing every day is about commitment to see it through. So don't be a quitter, get into the habit of finishing everything you start, whatever it might be.

What’s the best thing about being an elite athlete?

For me its about the feeling of being fit, really fit, and the satisfaction of seeing all the hard work come together on race day.

What’s been your favourite moment in your sporting career to date?

Has to be putting out the performance of my life in London in the pursuit qualifying, and then backing up later that day to win Australia's first gold medal at the 2012 Paralympic games.  

What’s your favourite thing about Canberra?

The open spaces and nature, just minutes from home. Fantastic places to ride or just a peaceful walk with the dog.

Follow the journey of our athletes at sport.act.gov.au/actacademy-of-sport or on Twitter via@theACTAS