Andrew Cook, HaveFunBiking
The Sochi Winter Olympics just ended and despite cycling being featured in the Summer Olympics since their modern rebirth in 1896, women weren't given their due until the Los Angeles games in 1984. For the video review this week, we will take a look at that first road race in '84 and then fast forward to the 2012 olympics where for the first time in history, women competed in the same number of events as their male counterparts.
The First Women's Road Race in 1984
Having been born in December of 1984 and having a general lack of knowledge reaching back into Olympic history, I found it surprising that female cyclists were not given an event until 1984. The only event at the games was the road race, which marked the first American to win a gold medal in a cycling event since 1912.
2012 Sprint Final
If you're anything like me, the sprint event on the track is about the most confusing thing to watch at the olympics. Not only are the riders wearing gear that appears to have come out of a 70s sci-fi movie, they don't start riding fast until the last lap in the race and spend most of their time enacting some sort of slow motion and highly tactical behavior. Australia wins this one, but not by much.
2012 Cross-Country MTB Race
Typically, MTB races are held in places that don't resemble golf courses when the camera zooms out. Sure, this place looks like a really nice place to ride and it definitely looks like they took the time to design course obstacles that mimic a good trail, but I would have preferred a location with more trees. One good thing though, is that the history of the Hadleigh Farm is pretty interesting. The land was ought by William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, in 1891 as a sanctuary for the destitute living in London following the Industrial Revolution. The farm functioned as a sort of treatment center for people dealing with issues like alcoholism or homelessness. By taking them away from their vices, instilling a farmers work ethic and returning to nature, they would be able to find redemption and piece of mind. The farm is still functioning to this day for the purpose of education and also contains the ruins of a castle built in the 13th century.
2012 BMX Race
Who would have thought that BMX racing would have become an Olympic event? In the last two summer games, both men and women have competed. Make sure to watch the slow motion shot at about 5:15 and imagine what it would feel like to be in the air that close to the other riders...