Diabetes is always a challenge but never a barrier.
Australian Justin Morris is a former member of Team Novo Nordisk’s professional squad and now serves as one of the organization’s standout ambassadors. The talented public speaker raced for two seasons with the men’s professional team before splitting his time between sharing the team’s mission to inspire, educate and empower, completing his university studies and starting his own business coaching and mentoring athletes.
The 33-year-old first discovered his love of biking at an early age. In high school, the Sydney-native noticed his best days were always the days he rode his bike to school. When the Sydney Olympics came to town, the mountain biking event and a key T1 diabetes role model in Aussie Rugby player Steve Renouf inspired him to start competing. After winning his first bike race, he never looked back.
Morris was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 10. He raced mountain bikes as a junior and at 19, added road racing to his regimen for cross-training purposes. On the road, he excelled. In 2009, Morris signed his first road contract with the Australian domestic team MACE/Wilson Racing and joined the Team Novo Nordisk development team in 2010.
Morris has never let his diabetes slow him down. In 2011, he finished fifth overall at the legendary Crocodile Trophy, a grueling 10-day Australian mountain bike event covering almost 750 miles. In 2016, he won the equally grueling Simpson Desert Bike Challenge, a five-day race on fat tire bikes across one of the world’s largest sand deserts. Morris recently placed third overall at the Tour of East Timor, a stage race across the mountainous terrain in one of the world’s newest nations.
As a Team Novo Nordisk ambassador, Justin has worked around the world spreading the team’s positive message. The past three years, he took part in ‘Pedal for 7,’ a successful cycle event that stopped at various hospitals, schools, and community groups across the UK. He has spent significant time speaking throughout Asia where cycling is not so mainstream to help promote the team and change diabetes.
Even with all his travels, Morris found time to finish his degree in psychology and education. He lives with his wife in Tasmania where he runs his own coaching business, teaches indoor cycling classes, works as a bicycle mechanic and continues to fuel his love for cycle racing through his work as a racer and journalist for an Australian mountain bike publication.
Message to people with diabetes: It takes a hero to deal with diabetes and diabetes only chooses heroes.
Cycling dream: To keep showing that no matter what challenges we have in life, we can all live our dreams. Challenges are just that – challenges, not barriers. I want to keep racing and helping my team achieve great results.
Life dream: Keep having a happy life with a happy wife.