ALEXI GREWAL is the only American cyclist to win an Olympic gold medal in the men’s road race event, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. In town for the event PlayWrite, he spoke about the sport.
Key to becoming a champ
First, you have to overcome your fear, one who has the fear of losing will never be able to win anything. It takes a lot of effort, consistent training and focus. And it does not happen overnight.
Fitness and diet regime
Fitness plays a great role in any sports. Healthy diet coupled with consistent and proper training is an essential to reach an optimal level of fitness.
It does not matter what kind of cycle you use. What matters is can you ride the cycle and do you know about its strengths? Cycling is a simple sport, you just have to know your machine well.
I have faced many challenges, but what helped me was I never gave up. One who knows how to handle failure never loses in life. It is especially important for a sportsperson.
Cycle tracks in Chandigarh
I think people can take to cycling here, but it is complicated because in India a cycle is considered a poor man’s conveyance. It is not seen as a popular means of transportation. Also, most of the time the weather here remains hot. So cycle is unlikely to become a vehicle for your daily commute in near future. But still I am hopeful that one day we will all see some change. Each person will have to decide to use a cycle, not only because it keeps you physically fit but also because it is environment-friendly. But as long as people buy cars to flaunt their money, this won’t happen. It takes time to change perceptions, but it is not impossible.
Precautions for a cyclist
Ride in a position where you can see and be seen at the same time. Making an eye contact with other road users is equally important, especially at junctions. If you do this, then you know they have seen you. Also, don’t forget the helmet.
What is your connection with Panjab and Chandigarh?
My father was born in Shimla and his family was raised in Mohali and Patiala. That is how I am connected to the city.
Message to aspiring cyclists
Young aspiring cyclists should know that cycling is a simple sports. They need to enjoy it. Also, it is important to take the help of a coach. Each sports has its own requirements which can only be acquired from good coaches.