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MONDAY 16 JUNE, CANBERRA: Michael Milton has increased his training load as he prepares for his sixth Paralympic Games and his first as a summer athlete.

Almost 12 months since he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, the skier-turned-cyclist said his session have increased in length and intensity and he is building up to 400km each week.

'I feel strong on the bike which is great. I can feel my fitness and strength building and I can't believe how different things are now compared to the last 18 months or so,' he said.

Milton has some ongoing health issues that he must deal with and some side-effects of the surgery will be with him for life.

'I'm still learning how to manage my new digestive system. With only a third of my stomach left, it's a real challenge to eat and drink enough to live, let alone train and compete.

'I get sick every now and again and need to take a break. I tend to have three good weeks followed by a couple of bad ones and, to be honest, I'm overdue for a bad period right now. Perhaps it wont come. That would be a real boost for me - to be able to continue training without interruption,' said Milton hopefully.

The final Paralympic team (for all sports) will be announced on 27 June and, on 14 July, Milton will join his cycling teammates for a camp in northern NSW. From there the team heads to Perth for more training until they depart for Beijing at the end of August.

'Life is good,' said a smiling Milton from his home in Canberra. 'It's much better than I expected it to be 12 months ago. I'm happy to be alive and happy to be on the bike. Bring on Beijing!'

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