“I did a radio interview on SEN (1116am radio) and we were discussing how difficult it was to be a National Champion and yet receive no funding at all to even go to races in Australia.
“I had only just finished the interview and about 2 minutes later, my phone rang and Aaron, BR International’s (BRi) Director, introduced himself.
“I was totally not ready but blown away by this. To think that someone had heard me and took the time to call me was a shock – a fantastic shock.” – Michael Taylor
This happened five years ago. Today, Michael Taylor is a well-known Australian paralympic cyclist and was hailed as Australia Day’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.
“I had only just finished the interview and about 2 minutes later, my phone rang and Aaron, BR International’s (BRi) Director, introduced himself.”
There are many athletes looking for a sponsor, why Michael Taylor?
“I was sitting in the airport waiting to fly out to the USA when I heard Michael talking on the radio. What caught my attention was that he was from a freight forwarding background. Instead of letting his disability defeat him he was getting on with his life and having a go. It was his passion that I really admired and I just had to call him and get behind what he was doing.” Aaron Poole, BRI Director
Michael remains in constant communication with Aaron and updates him of his various races, both the good and the not so good.
“Let your performance do the talking.”
This was his statement when asked what it is he has learned from being a paralympic cyclist. He further shared with us how he worked his way from the bottom to the top.
“Prior to my first race, I thought ‘how hard can this be?’. I’m going to Perth and win. I did not. I got absolutely smashed by over 30 minutes.
“I have always remembered this and this keeps me grounded.”
After his first loss, Michael became even more determined to win. He recalled how he would slowly peg a guy from WA, who has become his good friend, until he finally succeeded in beating him.
“I was so thrilled. He (his competitor friend from WA) was also pleased for me.
“All the hard work is paying off.”
Is paralympics a very competitive sport? How do you keep yourself fit?
“The High Performance Unit of cycling doesn’t say a lot to each athlete but they take a lot of notice of your performance. They not only make sure you deliver the quality times but also take close observation on how you conduct yourself with others.
“You need to be determined ( my wife says stubborn) and stick to a food regime. Most times, my 11 year old daughter would even eat more than I would. Ultimately, you need to be very single-minded and focused, especially during competition time.”
What are the challenges every paralympic cyclist has to face on the road?
“It can be a fine line sometimes, but its a roller coaster of emotions as you need to spend a fair bit of time on the bike by yourself. Some days are great, some days are terrible, the weather beats you down – hot and cold, traffic can be interesting to say the least.”
What could you say to your sponsors and supporters?
“BRi have been supporting me for 5 years. You guys were my first ever sponsorship outside of my family and friends who really believed in me and took a chance on someone unknown. I will be forever grateful for this.
It’s been a great journey so far, with now 7 National Australian Titles to my name. Your support has allowed me to race more often and assist others as well.
I am truly appreciative and cannot say thank you enough.”
BRi is proud of the following achievements received by Michael Taylor. We are happy to have contributed to his success and his fellow paralympians.
Australia Day awards – Sportsperson of the Year
Michael Taylor wins 2015 Sportsperson of the Year
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