Sunday, 26 October 2008

I wanna ride the 2012 Olympics Dad.

The true spirit of the Olympics.

It's the reception area of the Manchester Velodrome, it's late afternoon and a father and his 14 year old son walk in. Along with the reception team and the duty manger there are a couple of coaches hanging around.
'Who do I speak to about my son?' ask the obviously proud father.
'Er, what do you want?'
'I think he could be good for the 2012 Olympics' says a beaming dad.
'Right, does he do any bike racing?'
'Oh no, he just rides a mountain bike socially every now and then, but I think he's going to be really good.'

I think he was pointed in the direction of one of the junior clubs that operate out of 'Gold medal City'. But I believe the call to tell Brad Wiggins to forget the trip down to London was put on hold.

Meanwhile there was a guy who told us all how fit he was from running and how he wanted to get into bike racing. But as winter was approaching there's nothing but cross and track. The track didn't appeal to him and he liked the idea of running through mud.
So a few lessons on doing a running dismount / mount, a borrowed set of wheels and he lined up at his first race, having taken time to tell us that he 'could do something here'
He rolls in 29th out of 30 and whilst I personally I would consider this a great triumph, he seemed very unhappy and looked slightly gray.
'It was too hard' was his response to the 'how was it? question. Good, he was obviously in the right race then.

The track, actually harder than it looks, apparently.

And just last week I was running a training session at Manchester Velodrome and had a couple of guys along who'd never ridden the track before. Both loved it and wanted to come back for more, but they confessed to finding it 'a lot harder than it looks on TV.' Er......

All of these are, I guess, examples of the Olympic spirit (a type of liquor brewed in Greece) slopping over the edge of the glass and trickling down to the lives of ordinary people, just like what the IOC claim it will do. Whatever you may think about these or similar events, it's great to be involved in a sport that people want to take part in. Indeed, a sport that people are clamoring to take part in. Oh happy days. Stuff like this puts a smile on my face, it really does.

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