Olympian cyclist Nathan Smith last week returned home having placed among the top ten in two events at the London Paralympics.



He was eighth in the three-kilometre pursuit and tenth in the C3 time trial.



He says though aiming for a medal in his main event, the three-kilometre pursuit, racing in the velodrome was absolutely "brilliant".



"It was like nothing I had done before."

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He says he had high hopes of bringing home a medal, but that there were a couple of guys he has not raced against previously, who rode at world record speed taking the top positions.



It was his first Olympic participation and he says also his last.



"Come Rio I will be 40 and our two children eight and six by that time." He says it is now family first.



"I will still race locally with the New Plymouth club and with the new track in New Plymouth ... I am quite excited."



Nathan, a former Taranaki rugby rep and the older brother of All Black Conrad Smith, took up cycling following an accident eight years ago that cost him his lower left leg.



He was on the limit of qualifying for the last Paralympics, held in Beijing in 2008, but he didn't pursue it due to the imminent birth of his daughter, Saskia.



Nathan made his international debut at the 2010 paracycling world champs in Canada where he placed eighth in the C3 road race.



His wife, Crystal, herself an avid athlete joined him in London. The couple lives in New Plymouth and also have a two-year-old son, Ashton.

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Working as a pharmacist at Stratford's Mackay Pharmacy Nathan says a "big thank you" to his employers and colleagues for their continued support and to his sponsors for getting him to London.