London Bike Show 2019
Olympic Gold Medal-winning Paratriathlete, in conversation with Helen Webster
12:30 - 13:30 (Sunday)
Andy Lewis MBE has overcome ADHD, depression and having his leg amputated to become a pilot and win the first ever Paralympic gold medal in Paratriathlon. He is the only British man to hold the triple crown: European, World and Paralympic titles at the same time.
Andy’s determination to overcome challenges started in school where a teacher labelled him ‘thick as a brick.’ His story is a masterclass in how grit and self-belief are the recipe for resilience and achieving goals.
In 1999, Andy left school to join the Army, a dream that was dashed after his motorcycle crashed with a 38-tonne lorry. His right leg was severely damaged and after living with the pain for six years he made the difficult decision to have it amputated.
Depression and an unhealthy lifestyle followed until a film about Douglas Bader inspired him to learn to fly. In 2007 he was awarded a Disabled Flying Scholarship and went on to get his pilot’s licence.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games reignited Andy’s interest in running.
He fund-raised to buy a running leg and in 2013 a chance meeting with the Arctic One Foundation introduced him to triathlon.
He immediately knew it was the sport for him but he couldn’t swim. Undeterred, and with funding from Arctic One, he learnt. Four months later he became British Champion and in 2016 he was crowned European and World Champion.
In 2018 Andy set up Bespoke Mentoring and now visits schools to deliver his signature Wellbeing Leader training. That same year, Andy started ‘It’s Fun to Tri’ - a series of swim, bike and run camps and a mini triathlon for children in his local community.
This will be Andy’s toughest year yet as he faces up to his mental health challenges and sets his sights on competing in his first middle distance triathlon and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as an independently funded athlete.
• Paralympic Champion - 2016
• World Champion - 2016, 2017, Silver medalist in 2018
• European Champion 2016, 2017, Silver medalist in 2018
• British Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
• Winner of 20 ITU titles
Professor Greg Whyte
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