Paralympic champion Jon-Allan Butterworth has today announced his retirement from professional cycling having enjoyed an 11-year career with the Great Britain Cycling Team.
Butterworth, who joined the Para-cycling Development Programme in 2009 via Help for Heroes’ partnership with British Cycling and the British Paralympic Association to introduce military personnel to Paralympic sport, retires from the sport with a Paralympic gold medal and three silver medals to his name.
Butterworth’s cycling career began when he took part in a Paralympics GB talent ID day in Loughborough, just 10 weeks after having his arm amputated following a rocket attack at the Basra Air Station in August 2007, where he was serving as a weapons technician with the RAF. Inspired by the Beijing Games and his experience at a Help For Heroes bike ride in 2008, Butterworth was selected for the Para-cycling Talent Programme in 2009 and less than two years later, he set the world record for the C5 Kilo at his debut UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships event in Montichiari, Italy in 2011.
This marked the start of his world championship medal haul which saw Butterworth take to the podium a further nine times, winning a total of four world titles in his expansive career.
At his debut Paralympic Games in London 2012, Butterworth won the silver medals in three events – the kilo, individual pursuit and the team sprint. In was at the Paralympic Games in Rio where Butterworth made it to the top spot of the podium, winning the gold medal in the team sprint alongside teammates Jody Cundy and Louis Rolfe.
Butterworth said: “I have enjoyed a long and successful career on the Great Britain Cycling Team. My proudest achievement is becoming the first British ex-serviceman to win a gold in Paralympic history. I have had the pleasure of working with some truly amazing people who have helped make it all possible. On reflection at the end of this strange year, the time feels right to retire from professional cycling so that I can focus my energy on the next step of my career. I wish my team mates all the very best in their preparations for Tokyo 2021 and I thank them for all the memories.”
Performance Director Stephen Park said: “I’d like to offer Jon-Allan a huge congratulations on achieving all he set out to in his cycling career. To win four Paralympic medals and ten world championships medals is something to be proud of and is testament to his strong work ethic and athletic ability.
“Jon-Allan has played a big part in our team, inspiring others with his mental resilience and the level of focus which he has learned outside of sport but utilised with great affect inside of sport, which has resulted in his success at the top level of para-cycling.
“On behalf of the Great Britain Cycling Team, I’d like to thank Jon-Allan for his contribution to the team and also to the sport of para-cycling, and we wish him well for the future.”