VICTOR HARBOR – After experiencing tears of joy only two weeks ago, Sid James and good mate Kevin Fergusson have been left shattered due to a back flip by Hawaiian Ironman organisers.
The pair were notified on Friday, September 29, that their initial acceptance to enter the Ironman has been reversed. The change has left quadriplegic Sid “very flat”.
“I am very disappointed. We have worked so hard and the community has given so much support,” Sid said.
Sid has no idea what has changed since his entry was successful last month.
“My health is the best it has ever been,” he said.
Sid’s entry was refused for medical reasons. Ironman has stated: “there is an unacceptably high risk to Sid’s personal wellbeing that would arise from competing”.
Sid and Kevin have made a remarkable journey leading up to Kona, Hawaii. Sid has lost more than 16 kilograms raced his own triathlon for the first time, completed his first marathon, completed the famous Brighton classic swim, completed the Sufferfest half Ironman at Murray Bridge and finished the City to Bay under 50 minutes.
Kevin, who is a champion triathlete, has selflessly been striving to support Sid’s dream to take part in the Hawaiian Ironman by towing and pushing him through the swim, bike and run legs.
“I have personally seen a much happier and renewed passion in Sid and have enjoyed the challenges that we have faced together,” Kevin said.
“We both have been very humbled by the community support and by the by the whole triathlon family. Sid had his entry for his first Ironman on the table before his accident (1993) and unfortunately his dream of competing in an Ironman was taken from him. Sid’s passion to complete an Ironman is still very strong and I am devastated we got so close and it got taken away from him again.”
The whole team is still travelling to Kona and Ironman have agreed to give Sid a VIP behind the scenes experience.
“I will race for Sid and when I cross the finish line Sid will be there to congratulate me. I will take the finishers medal off my neck and put it around Sid’s neck and say you will become an Ironman and pledge that I will fulfil his dream to be called an Ironman,” Kevin said.
I will race for Sid and when I cross the finish line Sid will be there to congratulate meIronman Kevin Fergusson
“We have all the equipment and expertise to seek permission to complete an Ironman together somewhere and we will continue our endeavour elsewhere so Sid can finally hear the words Sid James you are an Ironman.”
Sid said the Fleurieu community can still follow Kevin’s progress in the event and he will be there “cheering him on”.