Olympic Time

August 2, 2012 By Tom

Bobby on the front, I’m right behind him-2005

The Olympics are an amazing thing, something that every athlete dreams about from a young age and a desire that is always there while in the higher levels of a sport.  You’ll be able to find me camped out this weekend watching the mens track cycling Omnium event.  First year for the new event  and I’ll save my rant about the changes that were required within the sport to have the omnium become the defacto Olympic standard.

Team USA has a friend of mine, Bobby Lea, as the male cyclist representing the USA for the Omnium and the 5 events spread across two days.  It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Bobby in person since I haven’t been racing but I can say with all my heart he is a great guy, the best competitive talent in the US and at 28 years old is a seasoned vet ready to represent.

post race celebration here in Indy in 2006 with Bobby

The cool thing about cycling at a certain level is the ability to compete against the guys who have now become the Olympic riders and represent the USA.  Looking back through old pictures trying to find some of Bobby last week for the kids we were working with at Nine13sports and the trip down memory lane made me laugh.

Not even sure what event this was–team pursuit I think in 2004. We are on the right (Marian College). The National Champs that year in this event were Penn State and three of the four guys have been involved with Olympic cycling as actual riders or as an alternate. Bobby Lea on left of team (2008, 2012 Olympics), Mike Friedman 2nd to left (2008 Olympian) and Andy Lakatosh 3rd from left (alternate rider for 2004 and I think 08).

Weir and I sprinting-Ken is holding me and Olympic coach Ben Sharp is holding Weir.

So if you stumble across the bike racing on the crazy steep track while watching the Olympics this weekend, remember that those bikes don’t have brakes, gears or the ability to coast.  There is nothing cooler than the beauty that comes with track cycling and the art required to be successful within the sport.  And when you ask “how do they stay up without falling on that banked track?”–you’ve got to go fast enough that the force pushes you into the track, otherwise you do fall!

Good luck Bobby, we’re cheering for you and the hundred kids you provided an interview for last week with Nine13sports are doing the same!

 Interview with Bobby:

Cheers and Go Team USA!