Paralympics

Former Paratrooper Aiming For Medals After Paralympics Call-Up

Jaco Van Gass has experienced success at an Invictus Games and is aiming to do the same at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Former Paratrooper Jaco Van Gass says he is "thinking about medals" after being included in the Team GB cycling squad for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Van Gass has won medals at the Invictus Games in the past and is targeting more victories in Tokyo.

Two particular events on a busy schedule for the cyclist could provide success.

"I can't stand here wanting to go to the Paralympics and not think about medals," he said.

"I've got a very busy schedule. I'm riding five events. That's every single event there is possible.

"Of course, I can't train for all of them specifically, so my focus is very much on the individual pursuit and the road race.

"Those are the two that I want a medal, coming back, around my neck."

Van Gass' inclusion in the latest squad completes a full circle story after the ex-Paratrooper was left out of Rio 2016.

He has had to deal with that blow, including leaving British Cycling for a time.

He explained: "It was a very, very hard decision for me to actually step back.

"I needed to find the passion and the love for cycling again, because at that stage, I didn't have it. I lost it.

"It consumed my life in every single aspect and I didn't enjoy it.

"I couldn't just get on my bike and ride," he added.

Van Gass says he "fell in love" with cycling again after riding without the pressure of times and targets.

Van Gass won two gold medals at the inaugural Invictus Games in London in 2014 before taking home a gold and silver medal from the second games in Orlando in 2016.

Those experiences may just drive him to a big win at the Paralympics.

He said: "The Invictus Games played a huge part – what the event offered and what it could be like going to a Paralympic Games.

"I remember that night so clearly. I barely slept – I was so nervous!

"It's almost a comfort blanket to know that if I do go to a Games, I can still perform at the highest level with very little sleep and being nervous."