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Type 1 striking for gold

03 August 2012

It’s been one of the most exciting weeks that the United Kingdom has seen; from the spectacular opening ceremony representing our monumental history, to creeping up the medal table with incredible performances from our dedicated sportsmen and women to clinch spots on the podium. We can officially say that everyone at JDRF is cheering all the way for Team GB to win the Olympics 2012.

With Olympic fever sweeping the world at the moment, we've found some inspiring Olympians past and present with type 1:

  • Barney Storey, Paralympic, GBR, Cycling
  • Fred Gill - Team GB Rowing Team - type 1 on a pump
  • Matthias Steiner, Germany, Weightlifter
  • Michel Jelinski , Poland, Rowing
  • Chris Jarvis, Canada, Rowing
  • Gary Hall, USA, Swimming
  • Kevin Hansen, USA, Volleyball
  • Pam Fernandes, USA, Cycling
  • Kris Freeman, USA, Cross Country Skiing

Barney Storey was diagnosed with type 1 aged four. He made his first appearance for Team GB in 2004 at Athens where he participated in two tandem track cycling events acting as the sighted pilot for Daniel Adam Gordon in the Paralympics.

At the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, China he and Anthony Kappes set a new world record time in the 1k time trail and secured Gold.

In an article he said:

'Testing more frequently is something I have changed over the last 10 years. I feel this really makes a difference in knowing you have consistent control, as when fatigue sets in with your training it can sometimes be quite difficult to feel what level your blood sugar is in your body.
Experience comes into play with managing your blood sugar levels, as you have to be flexible with the insulin you inject into your body to stabilise levels. This may sound complicated to manage with all of these varying factors, but I always look at this as a challenge and not something which will ever hold me back from competing in my sport.'

German Weightlifter Matthias Steiner, 29 year old, is going for Gold in London 2012 - he is defending his title after winning in Beijing. He was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 18, six years after he started weightlifting and says:

'I am more 'aware' when I train, as I always have to keep my metabolic performance in mind. For instance, before commencing a training session or competition, I have to measure my blood sugar perhaps eat a few extra portions of carbohydrate. In preparation for a competition I train, twice a day for 2/3 hours each session. For this I measure my blood sugar very frequently, and begin training with a slightly elevated blood sugar level. After half-an-hour's training, it drops back down.'

Michal Jelinski is a Polish rower taking part in the Men's Quadruple Skulls this year. He started rowing aged 15 and was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 23. Michal and his team mates won Gold at the 2008 Olympic Games, and were inducted into the Polish Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Image created by Simon Gumble - to see it in full have a look at the JDRF UK Facebook page.

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