For Liandi Steyn and Oswald Kydd, the finish line at a bike race is both closer and further away than many cancomprehend. The obstacles they have overcome, the battle against their bodies were THE inspirational stories and pictures at the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge.
When Liandi was 13, doctors discovered she had Prolonged QT Syndrome, which is also known by the chilling moniker of “sudden death syndrome”. Liandi’s dream is to live and to live well. She completed the Mountain Bike Challenge with the help of friends and sponsors, riding with tubes in her nose connected to breathing apparatus carried by a teammate. She rode in the colours of the Reach for a Dream foundation. Completing a mountainbike event was simple astounding as, to quote Liandi, her “heart is so abnormal that if she hits a speed bump in the road it can cause an arrhythmia, which is when your heart starts beating funny. Any little thing can cause it, and that can cause sudden death.”
Liandi Steyn rides with sponsor and friend Joggie Prinsloo.
Riding the Mountain Bike Challenge was, she admits, a “bit of a risk, but I have decided to live and not to be caged in my hospital room. I bring everything with me so that I can hopefully show someone who is in my shoes that your life is not ruled by your diagnosis."
My motto is ‘the man who is afraid of dying will never learn to live’.Liandi Steyn
Liandi's mother has to carry massive medical bills each month, with a cardiologist bill alone costing over R184 000! Please support this superstar in whatever way you can via https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/liandi-steyn
Meanwhile, images of the one-legged Oswald Kydd riding up Jan Smuts became one of the iconic pictures of Cycle Challenge Sunday. Kydd had his right leg amputated at the age of 29 after being run over by a truck. Already a competitive, licenced cyclist, he refused to give up and six months later was back on his bike. He had to learn how to balance on a bike again, falling down, getting hurt, but always getting back up.
Cycling was not enough of a challenge, so Kydd became a triathlete. He completed the 2006 Ironman in 13 hours and seven minutes. He completed two more. This year, he rode the Cycle Challenge without his prosthetic right limb, powering himself up the climbs with his left leg and his incredible determination. He finished in three hours and one minute, putting him in 2166th place overall.