The healthcare company Novo Nordisk announced today that it will continue to support the first all-diabetic professional cycling team through the 2017 season.
The unique American squad is made up of 18 athletes from 11 countries, all living with type 1 diabetes. The team will take part in the Tour of California this week.
Team Novo Nordisk arose in 2012 from Team Type 1, the brain child of former professional cyclist and global diabetes advocate, Phil Southerland, who aimed to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. Novo Nordisk Executive Vice President of China, Pacific and Marketing, Jakob Riis, forged an agreement with Southerland in 2012 to support the idea of creating a team entirely composed of diabetic athletes.
"As a global leader in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has a responsibility not only to provide innovative products to tackle the diabetes pandemic, but to also invest in initiatives that support the diabetes community," Riis said. "Our partnership with Team Novo Nordisk reinforces this commitment and we’re proud to support the team in its mission to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes."
Southerland has continued to push the limits of perception of what diabetics can achieve in the world of sport, entering his team into the highest level of races in the world, including this year's Milan-San Remo.
"Novo Nordisk is an incredible partner and its renewed commitment to this world class team of athletes enables us to continue racing at the sport's highest level and utilise cycling as a platform to show the 387 million people around the world living with diabetes what may be possible," Southerland said. "It also allows us to continue our focus on identifying and developing the next generation of athletes living with the condition and creating new heroes for people with diabetes all over the world."
In addition to its professional team, the Team Novo Nordisk programme also supports junior and development squads currently totaling 30 athletes.