Trek: Trek At The Olympics: Part Twelve

2008/08/21

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Day 13-

Rain, rain go away…

We woke to hard rain and as we made our way across town to the Trek Laoshan Store and hospitality area, we got word the BMX finals were likely to be postponed. While we waited for the final word, we had quite a number of people stop in our hospitality area for food, coffee and a break from the rain. We were also happy for all those simple Trek rain jackets we sold to those standing in the rain…good job whoever thought of that! 

One Trek hospitality visitor was Bart Brentjens, Trek-Dolphin mountain bike rider and winner of the first MTB Olympic gold medal in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 (yes, go ahead and file that piece of trivia away as well…it might be on that same game as yesterday’s question). At any rate, Bart has been stopping by our area each day to have a break from training, catch up with his family and have his massage therapist work on him in the upstairs athletes-only lounge. 

Lounge?? What lounge? Well, the athletes’ lounge is an area generally used as a multi-purpose meeting and training room, but has been transformed into a place for athletes to take a break, relax and get away from the pressure of the Olympics. The lounge has several showers, 2 massage tables, some spinning bikes for warming up or cooling down, a fussball table for taking the mind off the real competition and some couches with TV and wi-fi. And in case you are wondering, in the spirit of the games we have opened this space to all athletes, regardless of what brand bike they are competing on. In addition to the athletes’ area, we also have a technical zone, where the rider’s personal mechanics can work. Although each federation has brought a mechanic or two, many of the riders have brought a personal mechanic who does not have an official Olympic credential. Therefore, we have also opened our shop to any mechanic needing a place to work, due to either the lack of presence that their sponsor has in the China market or for those whose sponsor for some reason did not provide them such a resource. Some of the people we have welcomed this week are Giant Pro Adam Craig, Luna Chix Orbea riders Georgia Gould and Catharine Pendrel, Seven-Kenda rider Mary McConneloug, GT riders Mike Day and Jill Kintner and many others. When asked why Trek China was doing so much to help the riders – both those on Treks and other brands, Trek China General Manager Todd McKean commented that, “the Olympics are about sport. While we may be growing a business here in China, we want to do our part to ensure the athletes who come to China to compete do not have to worry about silly things like where the mechanic is going to find to work on their bike or where they can get a free wi-fi connection to email their mom or dad. Furthermore, most of these athletes would not be here without the support of their friends and families. The problem however, is that the athletes are living in the Olympic Village and it is often difficult for families and friends to see them and provide the support they need. We thought if we could put a simple thing like a lounge area in part of our store, it might actually be a great benefit to the athletes and their families. So far the feedback seems to be great.”

Aside from the athletes who have been in and out of the lounge, we have also hosted the Great Britain Cycling Federation and the US Cycling Federation. Considering the location of the store being immediately adjacent to the Laoshan cycling venues, it has been very convenient for these federations to utilize the space to issue tickets to their athletes’ families, be a central meeting point and a nice place to stop and unwind in between and after events.

Well, that is all for today’s blog. Tomorrow we promise to get back to the bike racing. Men’s and Women’s BMX. Stay tuned and thanks for joining us.

>>>Read Part 11>>>