Australia's Justin Morris (Team Type 1 - Sanofi Development) returned home from the United States a little early this year but his season is far from over. Morris has been one of the team’s most valuable assets since joining in 2010 - having being diagnosed with diabetes when he was 10-years-old - and it’s not just his sporting potential that his team wishes to retain. One of the reasons for remaining with the team is that he truly believes that people with Type 1 diabetes can do it all. It’s a message the team strongly supports and it’s something Morris spends much of his own time talking about.
Morris has taken the opportunity to speak publicly in the US and back home in Australia on multiple occasions. Taking to the stage in an effort to educate and encourage diabetics and non-diabetics alike to overcome life’s difficulties in order to achieve their life goals.
"It’s something I put my hand up for, it’s something I’m passionate about on top of my racing," Morris told Cyclingnews.
"I love doing that. It’s one of the things that motivates me to stay with the team. The team has a real powerful message for diabetics and being able to spread that message throughout the United States, here in Australia and around the world really excites me.
"They are trying to prove that even with the challenge of diabetes in our life, that we can still achieve our goals. Cycling is one of the hardest sports and if we can compete and beat the best in the world, with the challenge of diabetes, then we hope people can see that anything really is possible.
"When you are first diagnosed you see a lot of doctors and they tell you about everything you can’t do but as I and my teammates have discovered there’s so many more things that you can do, as opposed to focusing on those you cannot," he said.
After returning to Sydney to follow up on his University studies he’s looking forward to his next major objective, the grueling nine-day mountain bike Crocodile Trophy. This year’s race will be the 26-year-old’s second participation.
"Everything I’m doing now is leading up to the Croc Trophy. At the moment it’s all about that race. I did pretty well there last year, finishing fifth. The race is really well known around the world and it really helps with my public speaking.
"It’s the type of race that can really capture peoples imagination because it is so hard and so adventurous. It’s really different from a standard race, it’s pretty special," Morris told Cyclingnews.
This year’s edition will begin in Cairns before making the tough 933km journey with the finishing town Cooktown to host the finish of the race’s final 148km stage.
Following his season of off-road, Morris is looking forward to continuing his association with the team for the coming two seasons with the intention on completing a more European-based calendar.
"I’m going to have to put Uni on hold again as I’ll be going back overseas next year. I’ve been there for seven years now but it will probably take me twelve," said Morris jokingly when referring to his on again-off again University status. He will however, eventually acquire a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Diploma in Education.