The nearly-200 members of international sports organisation Team Novo Nordisk hail from 20 different countries. They all have unique interests, and backgrounds, and stories. They excel in different sports -- cycling, running, triathlon. What they DO have in common, however, is that they are all living with diabetes.
Chris Williams from Brisbane, and James Glasspool from Adelaide are both on the cycling team. Both men have type 1 diabetes, but have never let that get in the way of pursuing their athletic dreams. "As a kid, all I wanted was to be a professional athlete," explains James. "One day, I would dream of playing in the AFL and then the next of getting a baggy green. When I started riding, I knew that if I worked extremely hard, then my dreams of going pro might come to fruition. In 2014, I was offered a spot on Team Novo Nordisk’s development team. I felt I couldn’t pass up the offer." Chris says, "I always loved the outdoors growing up. As I got older, I started participating in amateur bike races, while working full-time as a teacher. By 2010, I was offered a guest spot on another team for a race in China. I performed well enough to earn a contract for the following year and I jumped at the opportunity because you only live once! Team Novo Nordisk got in contact with me in 2012 and I’ve been with them ever since."
Both Chris and James hope to inspire others with diabetes not to give up on their goals. "When young people are diagnosed with diabetes, there can be a focus on the negatives," says Chris. "But diabetes does not have to stop you from chasing your dreams. My advice would be to work with your medical team on your diabetes management plan and go live the life you want. Yes, it can be hard at times, but anything may be possible." James echoes this sentiment, saying that "The better you manage your diabetes, the better your performance can be. All athletes spend a lot of time making sure all the little details are in order when it comes to competing. The same goes for us – diabetes just adds another layer to manage."
Find out more about Team Novo Nordisk here.
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