WHILE she may be competing in a foreign country, Parramatta Cycling Club's Simone Kennedy will have more than a handful of supporters in the crowd at her debut Paralympics — and they're not even Aussies.
Her parents spent a decade living in Britain and most of her father's family still reside there.
And while her relatives may be torn between family and patriotism, bare a thought for Kennedy who will sacrifice the Paralympics show-piece event — the opening ceremony.
Her campaign begins on day one of the Paralympics and a long, drawn-out ceremony could throw out her race preparations.
"I would like to go to the opening ceremony but it's not the main reason you go to a Paralympics," she said.
"You don't want anything to impact on the competition."
The 18-year-old's rapid rise in cycling only took a single Olympiad, one leap year.
In 2008, Kennedy was watching the Paralympics on television when it clicked — she might be good at cycling.
Four years and two World Championship gold medals later, Kennedy had stepped into world-class cycling.
"As the Paralympics draw closer it will start to sink in that I'm actually going," she said.
"It's been a very quick journey so far.
"It's a dream come true for me and it's a real honour to be selected.
"Just the whole experience of competing at the games will be amazing.
"Not many people get to represent their country at the Paralympics."
A top-three finish is her aim.
"I would really like to medal in the 3km pursuit because that is my event," she said.
"I'm hoping for a personal best in in the 500m time trial, and in the road race I just want to do my best."