MICHAEL MILTON'S chances of competing in his first summer Paralympic Games
have taken a blow with a mystery illness forcing him off the bike and out
of the Australian team for next month's world championships.
The champion skier won more than 20 international medals in a career
spanning over 20 years. He took up competitive cycling almost a year ago
and broke an Australian record at his first major meet earlier this year.
His results saw him named in the Australian team to compete in the 2007
Para-Cycling World Championships in France next month but a string of
illnesses including chronic fatigue have forced Milton to put his cycling
career on hold.
Struck down with flu-like symptoms six weeks ago, Milton has been unable to
train and is being treated by doctors at the Australian Institute of Sport.
He says it is a real blow to his goal of qualifying for the 2008 Beijing
'My medical team is great but so far we've been unable to nail down the
cause. Although I've tried to keep training, I am nowhere near full
strength and wouldn't be able to perform at my peak in France. I just have
to put my health first. It's likely to be related to over training and
stress so some time off is the best remedy. There's a lot happening in my
life at the moment and I think I may just be trying to do too much,' said
Milton, clearly disappointed.
Milton plans to return to full training once his health issues are worked
out and is hopeful of qualifying for Beijing at the 2008 National Track
Titles early next year.
'I certainly haven't given up. I love cycling and believe I can still make
the team for Beijing. My family has been very supportive and my sponsors
are all sticking by me which is great.
'My first and most important goal is to get better then get on the bike.
We'll see how things go from there,' said Milton.
Milton is sponsored by Toyota Australia, Skins Compression Garments and
reACT Roofing and supported by the Australian Institute of Sport and the
ACT Academy of Sport.