Australia's fastest skier turned cyclist, Michael Milton, will ride in the 2008 Johnny Warren Jamberoo Classic (JWJC), his first charity event since being diagnosed with cancer in July. The winner of eleven Paralympic medals (six of them gold) and a world speed skiing record holder, Milton, who lost one of his legs to bone cancer when he was 14 years old, is determined to regain his fitness and qualify for the Paralympic Games cycling team.
"I love the idea of combining cycling, raising money for cancer research and remembering a legendary Australian sporting figure," said Milton, one of the best known athletes in the country. "I also see the ride as a good test in my quest to get back my fitness."
Milton has organised a group of friends to make the trip to Loftus on January 6, 2008, to ride with him in the fifth annual 96km JWJC. His recovery from Oesophageal Cancer is ongoing and, although he won't be officially cancer-free until he gets the all-clear at the five year mark, the results have been good.
"Life throws so many challenges at us - some we choose and others are thrust upon us," Milton said. "Some you have a bit of talent for and others you don't have any talent for. I'm yet to conquer my tax return so that's probably one of the biggest challenges I face," he added, laughing.
Milton will join the Kersten brothers (Josh and Ben) and an estimated 200 other cyclists taking part in the JWJC which raises money for the Sydney Cancer Centre Foundation. The event will include a football juggle-off that will take place as riders arrive at Stuart Park in Wollongong.
Event organiser and Johnny Warren's nephew, Jamie Warren, explained that members of the local Johnny Warren Football Foundation will juggle footballs for cash. "We really wanted to incorporate a bit of football in the 2008 event. The boys will be trying to set new juggling records as the cyclists arrive."
Participants are reminded that the JWJC is not a race but made up of mainly experienced cyclists. Riders are encouraged to pre-register by emailing organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org.