Glory for Louis Rolfe at Rio Paralympics
Louis Rolfe reaches medal podium twice in Rio
Louis Rolfe had a Paralympic debut to remember on the track in Rio.
The 19-year-old cyclist struck double delight, claiming a gold medal in the mixed C1-5 team sprint and a bronze medal in the men’s C2 3,000m.
The Cambridge Regional College student has had an epic rise to the international scene, having only first been selected for the British squad three years ago.
But that did not hinder him in Brazil, as he first earned third place in the 3,000m pursuit, beating 46-year-old Colombian veteran Alvaro Galvis Becerra.
And on the final night in the velodrome, Rolfe joined forces with fellow Cambridgeshire cyclist Jody Cundy and Jon-Allan Butterworth in the team sprint to win Britain’s last gold medal on the track.
They clinched victory in stunning fashion, setting a world record of 48.635sec to beat the Chinese.
“After four years ago and being the lowest I’ve ever been this is probably the highest I’ve ever been,” said Cundy.
“I was properly nervous for the kilo, I didn’t really enjoy it that much. But this one, with these two guys, and the way they have been riding in the last couple of months, it’s a pleasure to get up there and perform.
Butterworth, who finally landed a Paralympic gold after three silvers at London 2012, said: “I said before that I would trade all my three silvers at London for one gold. Finishing fourth in the kilo wasn’t too much of a worry as I knew that the team sprint was my focus.
“I get more satisfaction out of a team event than the individual because three people have got to have a perfect ride. There’s so much room for error so when you get it right it’s amazing.”
And Rolfe said: “The overriding emotion is just relief. I believed that I could help Jon turn that silver in London into gold here.
“Also to replicate what our Olympic counterparts did in the team sprint as well is a really special feeling.”
Rolfe will now turn his attentions to the road later this week.