Vale Paralympian Janet Shaw
Cycling Australia is saddened by the passing of Australian Paralympic cyclist, Janet Shaw.
Shaw, who competed at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games as a vision impaired tandem cyclist alongside her pilot Kelly McCombie, won two bronze medals in the individual pursuit and road race/time trial.
The Western Australian passed away, aged 46, after a long battle with cancer.
Australian Paralympic Committee CEO, Jason Hellwig, has paid tribute to Shaw and her contribution to Australian Paralympic cycling.
“On behalf of the entire Australian Paralympic community, I send my thoughts and condolences to Janet’s family and friends,” said Hellwig.
“I travelled to Athens as part of the team in 2004 with Janet, who had an outstanding Games campaign with her pilot Kelly. It is a sad day when we lose someone from the Australian Paralympic family.”
Cycling coach, Darryl Benson, says Shaw’s impact on the Australian Para-cycling squad is still felt.
“I was privileged to be a National Coach with the Australian Paralympic Team for Athens and have a role with Janet and Kelly leading into those Games. They dedicated themselves so solidly together, and came away medaling in two events…” said Benson.
“Janet said losing her eyesight was the best thing that ever happened to her because it eventually led her to where she was standing, waiting to achieve glory in Athens. That quote has stayed with me ever since. She was an amazingly strong person who actually saw more than us.”
Shaw lost her vision from a malignant tumour as a baby and was re-diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Having built a successful career as an author and motivational speaker post cycling, Shaw wrote a follow up novel to her memoir Beyond the Red Door, titled Bit of a Super Hero: Choosing the Challenge – My Journey with Cancer which was published this year and details her fight against the disease.