Podcast: Andreas Hestler, 1996 Canadian Olympian

Andreas Hestler competed in the very first Olympic mountain biking event, in Atlanta, Ga. in 1996, for Canada

Andreas Hestler raced for Canada in the first-ever mountain biking event in the Olympics

Andreas Hestler raced for Canada in the first-ever mountain biking event in the Olympics



Welcome to the final weekend of the 2012 London Olympics, “live” from the other side of the pond (depending on your cable carrier, of course).

Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen Michael Phelps tie, break, and then shatter an all-time Olympic record, with 22 total medals and 18 golds. We’ve seen Usain Bolt win the 100 metre and 200 metre dashes for the second straight Games – the first man ever to do so – and we’ve seen the U.S. women’s gymnastics squad set the roof on fire.

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“Cyclist Ryder Hesjedal honoured by hometown Victoria” – Victoria News (Aug. 10, 2012)

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We’ve seen Christine Sinclair and the Women’s National Soccer Team suffer a heartbreaking loss to Team USA, only three days before winning their first ever medal, a bronze in 1-0 win over France. We’ve seen Adam van Koeverden take to the water, and Clara Hughes compete at her last Olympics.

The fact is, the Olympic experience is so far out of sight and out of mind of nearly all of the world’s seven billion people. Even if you were in Vancouver in 2010, chances are you caught glimpses of your favourite athletes and maybe you got to experience the euphoria of Men’s Hockey gold on Granville Street, but athletes live a life and live through 17 days of a physical exertion so intense and so scrutinized, the rest of us are relegated to our television set and forced watch.

That’s why I wanted to interview Andreas Hestler.

Hestler raced in the first-ever mountain biking event in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and he’s been loving the London Games so far. Hestler is from Victoria, and he’s been one of the founders of that city’s spectacular cycling history, which now includes 2012 Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal.

Hestler is also one of the founder of the BC Bike Race, which just finished its sixth year, and takes all participants – from around B.C., North America, and the Globe – around Vancouver Island.

Interview w/ Kolby Solinsky

Black Press

(from July 31, 2012)

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