It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Tristen Chernove, who can add some new hardware to an ever-growing trophy case with a silver and bronze medal at the Rio de Janeiro velodrome.
Chernove captured his first-ever Paralympic medal on Friday afternoon in the 3000-metre C2 Individual Pursuit, finishing with a time of 3.47.41 — just three seconds over the gold medal winner, Liang Guihua of China.
“It’s wonderful to be on the podium,” said Chernove, “but I still have a lot to learn. I didn’t have my best rides today, which is hard. It’s wonderful to have a silver medal, but this was far from my best ride. But this isn’t the end and I’m going to harness my energies, refocus and get back on the top of my game.”
On Sunday, Chernove returned to the podium, capturing a bronze medal in the C1-2-3 1,000-metre time trial. Chernove hit the track with a time of 1:09.583, again just three seconds behind the gold medal winner, Li Zhangyu of China.
While Chernove is happy to hit the podium, he says he isn’t riding to performance level and feels there’s more to give.
“I was really nervous about getting on my bike because I’m so tired from lack of sleep, I haven’t slept for three days,” Chernove said. “So I was really doubting myself.
“I got through the ride and got a medal, which is wonderful, but I’m far from riding at performance level, so I’ve got to get back on top of what I’m capable of for the road events.”
Chernove will be transitioning off the track and over to the road race events — his preferred events — and will be competing in the C1-2-3 road race and C2 time trial.
This is Chernove’s first Parlaympic experience after getting into competitive track cycling last year. He experienced his first taste of global competition in dramatic style, capturing two gold medals at the Para-cycling Track World Championships in Montichiari, Italy, earlier in March.
A former world-class competitive kayaker, Chernove was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth-Disease (CMT) in 2009.
However, Chernove hasn’t let the diagnosis interfere with his passion for the outdoors and his active lifestyle. He is the CEO and Managing Director of his own company, Elevate Airports Inc, which manages the Canadian Rockies International Airport outside Cranbrook.
Chernove was also honoured by the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year at a gala awards night in April.
With files from the Canadian Paralympic Committee (www.paralympic.ca)