I know, I know -- you've been sitting there for two weeks now wondering when your favorite Bikeist would devote a post to the Winter Olympiad in Sochi. Well, I'm really not, quite, sure what it is you've been expecting as these are the WINTER Olympics people. What, possibly, could they have to do with bikes?
Well, leave it to this world-class bike enthusiast to find a biking angle to the Sochi games. I've been watching the games pretty closely, and was pleasantly surprised when I tuned in the other night to see the cameras following one of the American athletes as she whizzed through the Olympic Village on a road bike en route to a practice session. As it turns out, the Village and the venues were fairly spread out, so each of the nation's provided bicycles to its athletes to help them to get where they needed to be quickly and efficiently. Pictured here is American short-track speed skater, Alyson Dudek, clearly having a blast on the bike Team USA provided for her transport:
Even cooler, though, is that the Finnish hockey team actually used their fleet of bikes to get to their first game together (click HERE to read the entire story).
Sure, they look like lighter versions of the Citi-Bikes I recently made fun of, but still so cool that these world class athletes (many professionals who make millions) got to their first match the same way I used to get to baseball practice as a kid. The bronze medal winners are now auctioning off their rides for charity.
You'd think that a Winter Olympiad would have athletes getting around on skis vice bikes, but with temps rivaling our own weather here in San Diego, bikes were the perfect way to get athletes around without the logistical hassles of loading them on and off of buses to fight traffic to and from their venues.
Here's a shot of the Dutch fleet of bikes (orange, of course) being staged for the arrival of the Olympians (think the Dutch need much prodding to hop on a bike?).
Once they arrived, they wasted no time putting the bikes to good use:
We often hear the term "Olympic Ideal" tossed about. The Olympics are supposed to represent what is best about us -- what we are capable of when we put differences, politics, disputes, wars, etc., aside. Very nice to see that the nations of the world incorporated bike transport as a key feature of that ideal during these games. Yes -- we are at our very best as a species when we are at play and even better than that once we hop on bikes, aren't we? Well, I'd like to think so . . .