British Para-taekwondo star Amy Truesdale is still hoping to create history at next year’s rescheduled Paralympic Games – even though she has to wait an extra 12 months.
The sport will make its Games debut in Tokyo, 23 years after Truesdale took up the sport.
The 31-year-old has secured a qualifying spot and is in line to be part of the ParalympicsGB squad.
“I don’t think of myself as a history maker because I am tough on myself,” she told BBC Sport.
“But people who know me would say this is an amazing opportunity to be the first person to go and hopefully make history.
“It is a big opportunity I should embrace and probably give myself more credit for.”
Truesdale was born missing her left hand and forearm but showed talent from a young age competing against able-bodied rivals.
She explains: “Being a Para-athlete was never on my radar, because growing up I never came across anyone else with a similar impairment to mine. I did taekwondo because I loved it.
“It’s exciting to think there are other athletes out there with the same impairment and it’s now a Paralympic sport.”
As the sport made its bid to join the Paralympic movement, Truesdale became a key figure, winning the world title in 2014 and has followed that up with more European and world success.
Her sporting path changed dramatically in January 2015 when the sport was confirmed as part of the Tokyo programme. She is now a full-time athlete and has gained a lot more experience, developing her fitness levels and improving her body composition.
The skills she has learned over her time in the sport are putting her in good stead at the moment.
“I think I am a patient person from doing martial arts for as long as I have and I have a lot of patience and dedication, so another year isn’t the end of the world,” she said.
“When I qualified I said I wanted to do two Games so it was always my plan to continue on to Paris in 2024.
“But at the same time, it is disappointing because for the last few years all my focus was on 2020 and now the year arrives and you aren’t doing it. But it does give me a chance to develop tactics and work on my mental skills ahead of the Games.
“And everyone is in the same boat so you just have to deal with it and manage it in your own way.”
While Truesdale knows that her place at Tokyo just needs to be ratified, her team-mates Joe Lane and Matt Bush must wait to see if they can secure further spots for GB.
The pair, who compete in the under 75kg and over 75kg categories respectively, were due to take part in the final European qualifier in April but that was cancelled with a new date to be scheduled.
With Truesdale back in training at their Manchester base, alongside Lane and Bush, the focus is now on the path to Tokyo.
She spent lockdown with sister Chloe and two-year-old nephew Arlo in Chester and both played a key part in keeping Truesdale’s Tokyo dreams on track.
“Because I am training or away at competitions, 10 weeks is the longest I have spent with them so to be with them for that amount of time was lovely,” she said.
“I used the outside area for training and my sister is very supportive and organised and she was cooking good food every day for the three of us.
“Arlo practised on the bags copying my kicks, following me in my ladder drills and doing his own running and little jumps. I think he really enjoyed it.”