Ex-Olympic cyclist in eye-test plea as he opens Vision Express store

Former Olympic cyclist Bryan Steel (right) checks out the glasses at Vision Express with store manager James South.
Former Olympic cyclist Bryan Steel (right) checks out the glasses at Vision Express with store manager James South.

Former Olympic cyclist Bryan Steel called on residents to make sure they have regular eye-tests as he opened a new Vision Express At Tesco store in Mansfield.

Steel, who was born in Nottingham and still has strong links to the area, was the guest of honour to cut the official ribbon at the store on Chesterfield Road South.

The opening coincided with the release of worrying figures showing that more than 3,500 residents in the Mansfield area are suspected of having the sight-stealing condition, glaucoma, without knowing it.

“I would encourage people in the community to get their sight checked,” said Steel, who is now 47 and runs a cycling academy based in the East Midlands. “It is great to support the store as it opens its doors.”

In his cycling pomp, Steel represented Great Britain at four Olympic Games between 1992 and 2004, winning silver and bronze medals. He also won five silvers and a bronze at various world championships and two silvers at the Commonwealth Games.

He was shown round the store, which is part of a Tesco Express branch, and discovered that it has sophisticated sight-screening equipment that can detect a range of health conditions, including glaucoma and diabetes.

With statistics predicting an 85 per cent increase in glaucoma cases over the next 30 years, Vision Express is offering free eye-tests at the store.

Manager James South said: “The public need to take their sight more seriously. In addition to the worrying outlook for glaucoma, reports show that 4,000 people in Mansfield also have risk factors relating to age-related macular degeneration.”