After my last race of the season at the Pro Sprint Challenge I started some other work. Since the Olympics I have spent a lot of time trying to manage my thoughts regarding what happened to me there with my form and performance. I decided that sooner or later I had to go about using what momentum I had from the games to do some good work. Even if I didn’t get the result I wanted there I think sharing that experience and the journey to that level is still powerful enough to inspire some good in my fellow human being.
After picking up a nice win over some of the worlds best sprinters at the Pro Sprint Challenge I zipped home for a couple of days and then set off for Calgary. I was the guest speaker for a major fundraising event for Wellspring. This is a Cancer Treatment center in Calgary. The event was call Cancervive and was basically a Gala and silent auction for a group of athletes that will ride from Calgary to Maine for the Dempsey Challenge in a few weeks. It was a group of 500 People and the biggest speaking engagement I have had. It was a lot of fun at the end of the day and I was part of an event that must have raised somewhere in the neighborhood of 100K. I don’t know the numbers but I have to think it was close to that. I put in a jersey for the live auction and that evolved into me having my shirt taken off on stage by 2 ladies and then putting the jersey on. There was a lot of cheering at first when all the ladies thought they where going to see the bod of an Olympian. But when the shirt came off and they realized cyclists are just pasty Mr. Bean doppelgangers with a farmers tan the cheers turned to laughter.
From there I headed back to the great white north of the Yukon for a charity ride I organized to benefit a fund I am starting called the “Sport Access Fund”. I organized this in 10 days with the help of a very small group of volunteers. Let me tell you this is only possible in the Yukon. In 8 days we got an RCMP escort, media promotion, got the fund set up so we could offer tax receipts and got local members of government out. After seeing the people of the Yukon in action I think they should host Road Nationals. Seems like all the logistical problems are solvable up there. We had a Kids ride with a good turn out and about 10 hard core Yukon riders come out for 50 km ride with me. I have to say it was a huge honor and a great feeling to ride beside the YUKON river in the kit I earned by making the Olympic team.
At the end of it all we raised a modest $2000 or so that will be used to help kids access spots on the territorial teams for things like Canada games. This is just the beginning and I am working on setting it up to accept online contributions now so stay tuned. 100% of the funds raised go to Access Fund and I think it has the ability to play a role in changing the lives of a few Yukon kids each year.
In all this I also found time to visit 3 Schools. All elementary schools. I have to say this is my favorite age group to speak to. They are just so fun and interested. I also know that this is the age you can really start a dream that can guide them for the rest of their lives.
Best quote from the school visits was “Your voice sounds like the Hulk from the Avengers!!!”” I must mumble more then I think. Close second was “Cool I have never met one of YOUR people before.” I could only assume she was referring to my status as an Olympian and not some other random fact regarding my physical or other attributes.