Once every four (two) years, the world tunes in to see athletes from all sorts of obscure sports enjoy their blips in the spotlight. For two weeks every four years, people pretend to know anything about swimming, gymnastics, and fencing.
But mostly, we watch not to boast our knowledge of dressage, but to revive old dreams about someday being the athletes on the podium listening to the national anthem playing.
However, at the ripe old age of 23, I have now aged out of most Olympic sports (although not necessarily). But, like Rudy, I am not ready to let my dreams wither and die.
I still want to go to the Olympics.
Enter Electric Bike Guy. Thanks to Slate’s Justin Peters series on the best job at the Olympics, my dreams have found the life-support they need.
While track cycling is dangerous and requires loads of skill and technique, Electric Bike Guy requires almost none.
Similar to the safety car in NASCAR, Electric Bike Guy leads out the riders in the kierin event, creating a slip steam for the racers to follow behind. Electric Bike Guy sometimes approaches 30 mph, but is never responsible for showing any physical prowess of his own.
Instead he hums along on his derny, an electric powered bike named for it’s creator, and is protected by rules governing his invincibility. That’s right, Electric Bike Guy is not allowed to be passed at any point during his 5.5 lap lead out, meaning that he will never have to know the agony of seeing someone ahead of him in the race.
And while Electric Bike Guy will also never see any medals or glory for his work, he still gets about as much (if not more) press coverage than any of the cyclists who actually compete in the kierin event.
So thank you Electric Bike Guy. For this impressionable 23-year-old, you are a role model. It may not be the Olympic dreams of my youth, but it’s an Olympic dream nonetheless. Bedroom-wall poster coming soon.