7News Spirit of Sport Finalist – Spirit in Motion
In a beautiful moment, Paralympic cyclist Stuart Jones slowed during his race at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to will on another rider. Although they were on different teams and competing in different races, it was a moment of the utmost respect and support shared between athletes.
Stuart, after suffering a slipped chain on the final straight and missing a medal in the T1-2 time-trial, had found himself faced with tough, wet conditions, sitting in 9th place as he trudged his trike up the final hill of the T1-2 road race.
The moment captured, showed Stuart slowing down as he spotted another rider on the same hill – South Africa’s Toni Mould who was competing in the women’s T1. Noticing that she was a lap behind the rest of her field contenders and doing it tough in the miserable conditions, Stuart turned to his fellow Paralympian and shouted some words of encouragement.
“Keep going. You’re going great guns. You’ve only got a lap to go,” Stuart shouted as he pointed out to everyone what a star she was. The athletes exchanged smiles and shared in the humbling moment of comradery.
His actions remind us of the Paralympic motto, ‘Spirit in Motion’ which stands for the strong will of every Paralympian, who continually inspire and excite the world with their performances – always moving forward and never giving up.
“Look, I wasn’t going to podium,” Stuart told the Seven Network team after the race. “That lady, Toni from South Africa, that is a true champion. That’s what the Paralympics are about.”
Stuart has been praised for his display of Paralympic spirit and sportsmanship conduct.