Paralympic Gold-medallist Mark Colbourne MBE has announced his retirement from the Great Britain Para-Cycling Team.
Mark joined the team in June 2011 and soon began racking up the results on both the road and track, culminating in his Paralympic debut in London 2012 where he won Gold in the Individual Pursuit and Silver in the Kilo on the track, and Silver in the Time-Trial on the road.
Mark, 43, has been a keen athlete throughout his life and represented Wales at volleyball at national level. In May 2009, a paragliding accident left Mark with a broken back. After five months of intensive physiotherapy, Mark was able to walk again and he set himself the goal of competing in his first para-cycling event in 2010, where he won two gold medals at the Wales GP in Newport. From there, he continued to show great form and progression and was accepted onto the GB squad.
Speaking of his decision to retire, Mark said: “My decision to retire was prompted by my age and by being honest with myself. I don’t feel I have the physical capabilities to continue for the next three years to Rio. I’ve really enjoyed my para-cycling career, the standout highlight being winning Gold at the Paralympic Games in London 2012.
“I’m looking forward to being more involved with my Paralympic Ambassador role for the London Velodrome – I’m very proud of that. I’m going to be setting up my own cycling training camp company which will help other people to learn and develop their cycling skills from grass-roots up to club level. I’m also going to continue with my professional speaking with the aim of sharing my story and helping other people to change and improve their lives.”
Gareth Sheppard, British Cycling’s Para-Cycling Performance Manager said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Mark and he’s been a real asset to the team. His para-cycling career has been short but successful and I know he’s been a real inspiration to both his team-mates and also to impaired cyclists in general. On behalf of everyone in the GB Cycling Team, I’d like to wish Mark the best of luck for the future.”