Friday, August 01, 2008

BMX & the Olympics

Many know that Richard was killed just a week before the opening ceremonies of the '96 Olympic Games. In fact, it is a tragic irony that his funeral was on the same day as the opening ceremonies. That was such a particularly huge Olympic year for cycling given the debut of mountain biking (and Juli) as a full-medal sport, and the oh-so-bike-standard changing debut of the GT Superbike (with Marty, Erv and co).

I suppose that is why every four years at this time his presence and imapct seems to be extra heightened.

Going into Beijing, it is hard not to smile.

BMX will debut as an Olympic sport and there is no doubt that Richard had a leading role in this. His investment in the 20" segment during the late 80's and 90's kept it not only afloat, but thriving. His commitment to athletes, teams and winning kept it relevant and at the forefront. His vision in freestyle and the other non-race disciplines kept all things 20" pushing into new territory.

Richard's fingerprints are all over 2008. Former World DH Champ and GT mountain bike pro, Mike King is USAC's BMX Programs Director and will go to the Games as the first-ever BMX coach. Gary Ellis, Jr - aka: "The Lumberjack" and GT BMX legend - is on the US Olympic Selection Committee as the voice and representative of BMX. And, Donny Robinson, who was a Powerlite factory rider beginning at 10yrs old, is one of the three men on the US team. And, of the remaining three US BMX Olympians - Kyle Bennett, Mike Day and Jill Kintner - two of them currently ride for GT.

It all points back to Richard. Seriously - you have to love it!

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At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been having the same thoughts as I wait for the Olympics to begin. I was just telling my wife and mother how without a doubt we would be in Bejing right now if my Dad was alive. I have mixed feelings of happiness and sadness. Happiness because my Fathers dreams of taking this small sport to the masses has been realized. First with X-games and now the Olympics, it's truly amazing. Sadness because he is not here to enjoy it. He is definitely looking down with a huge smile on his face :) Bring home the Gold Team USA!!

At 8:19 AM, Blogger MANN.INFOSOLUTION said...

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