To win an Olympic medal would represent the pinnacle achievement of many athletes’ career and provide them with a memory to cherish long after they had retired from sport, but not Alan Geldard. Sitting in the living room of his home on the outskirts of Manchester, the former track cyclist is still frustrated by his failure to win more than bronze at the 1948 Games in London.

“We could have won gold and because of that I feel it in my bones,” the 82-year-old says. “Maybe if you finish first, 20, 30 years later, you don’t care. But when you came so close, it’s different.”

Geldard was a highly committed amateur cyclist and a student of his sport who coached youngsters until recently at the Manchester Velodrome. Yet the story of his Olympic year and the limitations he faced would make the world-leading members of Britain’s current cycling team choke on their protein shake…..Read More

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