Paralympic champion announces retirement in the face of a cancelled Tokyo 2020, launches business to support mental health at work.
Four years ago today, standing on Rio de Janeiro’s famous Atlantic Avenue, time slowed down for Andy Lewis. Staring out at the Copacabana coastline stretching ahead of him; the heat, the humidity, and a formidable line-up of competitors would make this his biggest challenge in a lifetime of setbacks.
But just an hour later, the man from Lydney would blaze across the finish line in first place; taking gold in the first ever paralympic triathlon in history.
The pinnacle of a triathlon career which also boasted British, European and International titles, and earned him an MBE from the royal family, Andy’s iconic performance in Brazil saw him break the ribbon a full minute ahead of his nearest rival. As the first to ever reach the podium in his discipline, let alone the top spot, Andy finally served his country in an altogether different way to his original plans.
And without the chance to defend his title at the now-cancelled 2020 games, Gloucestershire’s world champion has made the decision to retire and once again change direction, channeling his energy into something new.
Using lessons learnt from a complex life battling physical and mental setbacks, Andy has created a powerful, emotional and brutally honest message to share with the world:
I can change people’s lives, and it’s time for me to make good on my word. There is nothing more important than your mental health. Nothing. And I want to use my experiences to help people monitor, manage and improve it. Whilst I learnt the very hard way, I’m grateful for the lessons which have made me ten times stronger than I ever could have been. Nothing has levelled me yet, and that kind of resilience is what makes you successful, whatever your measure of that is.
Plus in a time of isolation, remote working and homeschooling, so many companies feel helpless as they watch their employees struggle with this new normal. Motivation and mindset are muscles which need training like anything else. That’s why Bespoke Mentoring was born.
With 40+ years of experience in sport, education and business, the team at Bespoke Mentoring support organisations to get the most out of their people, by investing in their mental health.