“I knew we were leading in the final when the bell went”
Cyclist and Blindingly Good Food blogger, Lora Fachie, on winning gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
14 January 2022
The morning leading up to the qualifying race, I was terrified. I had never managed to defend a world title. In the back of my mind, I always had this niggle of ‘You’re not very good at defending titles.’ That was playing tricks in my head.
It is amazing the difference that I felt between qualifying and the final. As soon as I had the first ride out and I got it right, I knew what I could do. We had broken the world record and we were the fastest. The relief and the confidence that gave me going into the Gold medal ride was immense. I knew that if I did the same again then we would win. It was a big confidence boost.
I knew we were leading in the final when the bell went because I heard our bell go before theirs. I knew at that point that we had won it because there was a big enough gap and I knew we were in good shape. When I crossed the line I felt relief and elation. I genuinely wish I could bottle that feeling. It doesn’t last for very long. When you come back down to earth it is very much with a bang.
The best memory, for me, was going through and getting my medals after winning. There is the photograph of me and Neil[Neil Fachie, husband and gold medal winner] hugging. That is the first moment I saw him.
In London, he won gold and in Rio I won gold but this is the first games where we have both placed first. The first words that came out of my mouth when I saw him were ‘We did it’
When we got home we had friends around and opened a few bottles of champagne. We took a couple of months to regroup and refresh, doing normal things and not feeling guilty about eating what we wanted to eat. I find it hard to stay away from the bike. If I am in the house for a couple of days, I think ‘I’m bored, what shall I do? Shall I get on a bike?’ It is my comfort – it is what I know.
Disability isn’t something to be sad or embarrassed about. It is something to celebrate
It was impressive to see how many people have got behind the Paralympics. It keeps growing and growing each Games. This is a really positive thing because it raises awareness of what people with disabilities are capable of. Disability isn’t something to be sad or embarrassed about. It is something to celebrate. You can still be incredibly successful and you can still achieve great things. You just might have do it slightly differently.
Lora Fachie has previously discussed her food blog and experience of living with sight loss as part of OT’s My Vision series.
- As told to Selina Powell.