• Jessica Gallagher and tandem pilot Madison Janssen won the bronze medal in the Women's B 1000m Time Trial at velodrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Getty)Source: Getty
After being banned from the Beijing Paralympics for not being blind enough, Australian Jessica Gallagher has made summer and winter Games history in Rio.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
10 Sep 2016 - 3:23 PM 

Legally blind Paralympian Jessica Gallagher used to ski down mountains at more than 100km/h, getting her directions out of a headset.

Now she's switched to the `relative safety' of a 60km/hr track cycling race, and has made history in the process.

The sport-hopping star became Australia's first athlete to win a medal at both a summer and winter Games in Rio when she won bronze in the women's B3 1km time trial.

Gallagher had already claimed bronze at the past two winter Paralympics in the slalom, and dabbled in long jump and javelin at the London summer Games.

"I still can't believe it. It seems like a long time coming after being banned from Beijing for not being blind enough," she said.

Silver for Australia's Sue Powell at the Paralympic Games
London 2012 gold medalist Sue Powell finished with silver in the women's C4 individual pursuit (IP) at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

The Victorian rider was selected for the 2008 Beijing summer Games but was declared ineligible on the eve of competition, as her right eye was deemed 0.01 of a degree too sighted to legally compete.

"It was so bizarre and just completely ironic. At the time it was just complete devastation," she said.

Where she used to rely on an earpiece for directions on a mountainside, now Gallagher has tandem bicycle pilot Maddie Janssen.

The pair set a paralympic record on Friday (Saturday AEST) that was later eclipsed by British gold medal winners Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott.

Australia's cycling medal run continued when fellow rider David Nicholas scored gold in the men's C3 3km individual pursuit.

Their feats helped to lift Australia to sixth on the medal table with three gold, two silver and six bronze at the end of day two.