Paralympian and former qathet region resident Tristen Chernove will be retiring after the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
According to correspondence from Chernove’s mother Malerie Meeker, after Chernove won a silver medal on August 26 in the C1 3,000-metre individual pursuit race, he withdrew from further competition. He was slated to compete in the 1,000-metre time trial, the road time trial and road race at the Tokyo Paralympics.
“It was a very whirlwind and emotional day yesterday,” stated Meeker. “I want to say that in addition to his stepping down early being incredibly honourable, at least in my opinion, his retirement in general is perfectly timed. As Tristen said ‘...time for others to get a shot at the podium. Time for others to shine.’”
Meeker stated that unless one is a family member, she doesn’t think anyone understands the price elite athletes pay to stay at the top of their game.
“As an example, in addition to running his company and parenting, Tristen trained four hours a day for years, usually late at night,” stated Meeker. “He weighed himself two times each day, adjusting diet regularly to maintain his desired weight.” Medications, which perhaps could assist and manage pain due to his condition, were out of the question, added Meeker. Other than during the pandemic, Chernove was away from home for weeks on end and regularly missed important family events.
“I know Tristen feels he gave it his all and now wants to turn his attention to [wife] Carrie and his girls Bronwyn and Morgan,” stated Meeker. “The entire extended family is thrilled for him, is proud of his accomplishments, and 100 per cent supportive of his decision.”
Meeker stated that Chernove qualified as a Paralympian because he has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a degenerative condition that affects the nervous system. When he arrived in Tokyo, he was required to undergo medical evaluation, typically done well before the Paralympics.
“The result was his reclassification from C2 to C1 category,” stated Meeker. “C1 riders are the most impacted by their disability. While the testing confirmed his degenerative disease had advanced, Tristen felt his cycling ability had not diminished.
“He decided it was time to step down and let others have the opportunity to experience a Paralympics podium finish. Tristen had recently announced his formal retirement to be after the Tokyo games; he chose to shorten that timeline by three races.”
Chernove has won four medals at the Paralympic Games, winning gold, silver and bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, in addition to the silver he’s just won.
Meeker stated that Chernove is a 13-time world champion and has twice been honoured as Canadian Cyclist of the Year.