Lora Turnham is a champion cyclist who is also blind. Lora lost her sight by the age of five from a hereditary condition which also affects her mother and two brothers. Losing her sight has never affected Lora's determination as she was chosen to represent Great Britain in the Paralympics this past summer. Right by her side was her faithful friend and guide dog Libby.
The Labrador Retriever sits on the track when Lora is attending training sessions or waits in the changing rooms when she is out on the road. Lora says that having Libby gave her the confidence to move away from home and to study physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham. "Libby is amazing, says Lora. "The first day we met she bounded out of the back of the training van and jumped up to see me, tail wagging -- it was as though she knew she was meant to be with me."
"My training schedule at the moment is really busy, and Libby puts in just as many hours as I do, but never complains! Just finding my way to the velodrome (training facility) without Libby can be a draining experience as all my concentration has to go into navigating my way there safely. When I'm with Libby I don't need to worry about any of that which means I can focus all my efforts into my cycling. Any medals I win in 2012 I will be sharing with her!" Lora is a Tandem Cyclist which means that there is a sighted person on the front of the bike and she rides on the back.
Eukanuba was an official partner of the London 2012 Paralympics Games and has had a long term relationship with Guide Dogs for the Blind. The company made Lora and Libby one of the faces of its advertising campaign throughout 2012. "Through cycling and representing my country I can show myself for my abilities and not my disability," explains Lora. "With Libby constantly at my side there's nothing I can't achieve."