The Dargaville-born athlete, Emma Foy who tried a range of sports including karate and athletics in her younger days, was instructing a spin-class at Marina Fitness in Auckland’s Half Moon Bay when a client suggested she try out for Para cycling.
Curious as to how she would go and naturally competitive, Emma took up the challenge and after impressing at a Paralympics New Zealand Talent Identification camp in early 2013 she was fast-tracked on to the High Performance programme.
She quickly adapted to the training demands and within months the psychology graduate snared a bronze medal in the Time Trial at the 2013 UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships alongside pilot Gabrielle Vermunt.
In 2014 she teamed up with a new pilot, Laura Thompson, and the combination has worked like a charm. The pair secured gold in a world record time at the 2014 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in Mexico.
Then later that year it was silver in the Time Trial at the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships. Emma started her 2015 international season with gusto successfully defending her World Champion title on the track in the Women’s B 3km Pursuit. Most recently Emma and Laura went on to win their third consecutive World Champion title at the 2016 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships once again in the Women's B 3km Pursuit.
The world class tandem pairing then went on to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in four events. For Emma this was her Paralympic debut and for Laura her second Paralympic Games. They won two medals; a silver in the Women's Individual B Pursuit and bronze in the Women's B Road Race. Their achievements contributed to the stunning performance of the New Zealand Paralympic Team that won 21 medals across 12 individual medallists in 2016 (9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze). The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).