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Posts Tagged ‘greg lemond’

West Virginia, lets face it, has a lot of poverty. Many escape this barrier by means of the military or working a dangerous job (oil rigs/mining).

This always make me wonder why I do not see more citizens around here with the aspirations of inner-city kids, or third world country residents of hitting it big with sports. Our turn of the century love of baseball ushered in an entire industry that people longed to be a part of, and many still do.

This rings true in America most with stories of opportunity from such like Ty Cobb:

Our community in Banks County, Ga., where I was born December 18, 1886, was a struggling place. Corn and cotton were subsistence crops for most, and the damage of the Civil War was far from repaired. My own family’s lot was happier. We had status and somehow the idea of staring at the rump of a balky mule while I steered a plow didn’t strike me as fitting work… Playing ball there was a chance to become more than another schoolboy and the son of Professor Cobb.

Rarely ever do you hear about stories like these anymore. The escape from poverty by working your hardest to get into a sport is long gone. I’m not sure if it is complacency, or people no longer willing to run the risk. The Guardian.co.uk ran a great story about tennis, and how difficult it is to find a lass who is competent and beautiful enough to catch the eyes and ears of the sports world to make worth her income: (more…)

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I think it was Greg LeMond who stated that cycling is a great way to escape life. Grinding the pedals further and further away permits you to distance yourself from anything weighing your life down.

Ever since the European cycling explosion was created, we have seen many workers, boys, and lower class individuals tempting fate in order to gain some fame, publicity, or cash. When it comes to our classic riders; Tom Simpson’s father was a coal miner, Fausto Coppi was an errand boy for a butcher, and Jacques Anquetil was the son of a factory engineer. All of these people aspired to make more out of their selves. Even now, there are some riders with… it was either… Katusha or Liquigas… that has a rider that was previously a roofer/shingle installer.

Even though cyclists do not earn nearly as much as professional futbol or tennis stars, the fame and publicity is overwhelming for some. Mark Cavendish even started out at a very meager life, wanting to become a track star, yet couldn’t afford it. His talent eventually shined through and was chosen for training by British National Track Cycling Team. In less than five years, he has become possibly the hottest velocista with Columbia HTC. (I mean, did you see the train leadout at the Champs Élysées @ ’09TdF?)

This escape from mediocrity or normalcy is something that so many want. Tyler Durden once said that ‘we all want to become rock stars and movie gods,’ yet there is a chance to become something big. These few riders listed as examples have biologically favored heart sizes and the training to become cycling stars. They have over-become their working class heritage and as long as they know how to invest well, they have and will live happily.

Becoming a movie star isn’t for everyone, nor is cycling. Find your talents or skills and go for it. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Live to succeed.

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