Christopher Murphy competes in the Mixed C1-5 750m Team Sprint Time Track Cycling at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Sept. 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Chris Murphy was stuck in Southern California traffic the first time he considered getting into cycling. On the way home from his part-time job in the city, he was tired of spending so much extra time in his car.
“I remember it so well. Some guy on a tri-bike just went by in the bike lane, someone that I’ll never see again. But seeing him made me realize that cycling would be a way better use of my time,” Murphy explained.
After visiting a local bike shop and picking out his first bike, Murphy realized just how much he liked riding. He began to ride at night after work, sometimes going as late as 10 p.m. to avoid the California summer heat.
One day he came across an article about an Australian Para-cyclist who had a successful professional career, world records on the track, and similar nerve damage as Murphy. This opened up the possibility of competitive riding for Murphy, something he hadn’t considered until then.
“I just started looking into it further and entering local races,” Murphy explained. “I signed up for my first Nationals in 2013 and did well enough to get on the radar for the U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team.”
From there, Murphy qualified for his first national team and has been competing ever since. To date, Murphy has seven world championship medals and qualified for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.