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Katie Archibald column: “I’ve brought my Olympic medal in a bid to appease any upset Carnegie Cyclones by passing it round”

Katie Archibald. Cycling Weekly

Katie Archibald on using her medal to distract some competition winners from any disappointment


I’m on a train heading east to meet the Carnegie Cyclones. Scottish Cycling ran a competition a few months ago for youth clubs to send in their most creative warm-up routine and the best video would win a coaching session from yours truly.

I said I was up for it mainly because it didn’t occur to me not to be up for it: completely forgot that I’m not actually a coach.

Don’t know how Scottish Cycling forgot though. There’s a massive picture of me printed on the wall of the Scottish Institute offices where I’m in a skinsuit holding a bike. Note: not in a tracksuit holding a stopwatch.

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So the competition was a scam aimed at youths and we’re monsters. Instead of the one training session that was going to change their lives they’ll be receiving some chit and some chat about cycling over a Ribena in a hall in Dalgety Bay. I’ll likely end up on Watchdog.

I’ve brought my Olympic medal with me in a bid to appease any upset Carnegie Cyclones by passing it round and letting each person remark, “Ah, it’s actually quite heavy, you said it would be heavy but I didn’t realise quite how heavy, oh gosh, yes, very heavy.”

Scoff at this you might but if ever we meet, dear reader, I’ll make you hold the medal and we’ll see how you react. The other reason I’ve packed it is of course the same dirty vanity that means I fall asleep every night hugging a mirror.

There are riders out there who can show off the weight of multiple medals but I can’t say I envy them. I pass mine round school halls and occasionally hear it hit the wooden floor (“Wow! Heavier than I was expecting!”) but it always comes back in good nick, warm from all the tiny hands.

However, I’ve seen multi-medal collections clink off each other and cause surface chips and scratches. What’s the point in all this cycling if the medal you get for it isn’t kept pristine? To make friends over Ribena? Pfft!

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