The wheel of the good fortune

© James F. Perry

As the Olympics has recently started I wanted to introduce to the readers of these lines another Mountain Dweller who is just a sport phenomenon. Originated from the French Alps, Jeannie Longo is part of the contingency of French athlets who will compete in the coming days for a medal... But Jeannie has already a few tinting in her bag, 4 in fact (1 gold, two silver and a bronze). What so special about her then? Well, the main reason according to me is that she is attending this yeqr her seventh olympic games... Yes, you have read correctly: seventh. 7 times 4 equals 28 years, almost three decades at the very top.

And guess what? At almost 50, Jeannie still kicks ass on her bike! She has a few records in her bags as her personal website lists (sorry if this list is no longer exhaustive, but she is really very fast and it seems that she is faster than her webmaster):

1034 victoiries
38 world records
Olympic champion
106 medals in Olympics, World and French Championships
3 Tours de France
13 times World Champion
55 times France Champion
World Record for the 1 hour run with 45,094 Km (Mexico 2000)
World record of number of victories in a year (both gender considered)

Not bad for someone who initially considered a ski career (earning a few titles in that discipline too before her future husband suggested to swap the skis for a bicycle). And of course such a record of achievment comes along with a temper and she had avery polarising effect on the French sport scene. She is a sport phenomenon, an ecologist activist, an organic fan... So of course she attracts attention as the NY Times spotted it in its recent article.

But I tend to keep on looking at the sport results and can only say: kudos. Go on Jeannie, we are behind you.

(Edit: Jeannie ends up her Olympic career with no medal. She finished 4th of the Individual Time Trial at only 2" of the Bronze Medal. Not bad but damn close)

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