Para cycling includes athletes who have a visual impairment, or physical impairment (limb deficientcy, athetosis/ataxia, hypertonia, impaired muscle power). Cyclists with a visual impairment ride in tandem with a sighted guide, known as a pilot. There are also events on tricycles or hand cycles based on impairment. As is the case at the Olympics, competition is held on a track (velodrome) and on the road.
Para cycling was first developed by cyclists with a visual impairment who competed using tandem bicycles. It was introduced as a Paralympic sport in Seoul in 1988. Track events were added for the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Canada has earned para-cycling medals at every Paralympics except the 2004 Games in Athens. The competition program includes sprints, individual pursuits, the 1,000-metre time trial, road races and road time trials for both individuals and teams.
Top stars include multiple world champion Shelley Gautier, a finalist in 2015 for the Laureus Sports Award for outstanding athlete in the world with a disability; Robbi Weldon, a dual-sport athlete in both Nordic skiing and cycling, who won para-cycling gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games with pilot Lyne Besette; and Tristen Chernove who took home a medal of each colour in Rio 2016.