Re: [CR]John Sinibaldi, 1932 and 1936 Olympian


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From: "Louis Schulman" <louiss@gate.net>
To: "chuckschmidt@earthlink.net" <chuckschmidt@earthlink.net>, "Classic Rendezvous" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 15:25:11 -0400 (EDT)
In-Reply-To: <3EFF2027.807720AD@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [CR]John Sinibaldi, 1932 and 1936 Olympian


John is still an amazing athlete, now at almost 90 (you would never guess by looking at him). I can take him in a sprint, however.

Louis Schulman Hot and muggy Tampa-St.Pete, FL

On Sun, 29 Jun 2003 10:21:47 -0700, Chuck Schmidt wrote:

#Great article Louis! I have seen a movie of the road race at the '36 #Munich Olympics. Lots of crashes are shown, also lots of close-ups of #the bikes and riders from a camera car. There was a mixture of #derailleur bikes and fixed gear bikes that caused quite a few crashes. # #Chuck Schmidt #L.A., CA # # #St. Petersburg Times article Louis Schulman posted: # # John Sinibaldi, 88, competed in two Olympic Games in cycling. He still #rides five mornings a week with the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club. He #wants to return to the Olympics as a torchbearer. # #<http://www.sptimes.com/2002/03/02/photos/flo-MD-CYCLIST.jpg> #Photograph and interview by LARA CERRI St. Petersburg Times published #March 2, 2002 # # As a young man, John Sinibaldi was a 10-time national bicycling #champion. He competed in two Olympic Games, in 1932 and 1936. At 88, he #still rides five mornings a week with the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, #logging 7,000 miles a year. When he's not in the saddle, he's in his #garden from which he regularly harvests everything from pineapples to #pecans. # # # The first one I rode in Los Angeles. It was the most -- I would say -- #secluded Olympics. There was hardly any publicity on it. I'll give you a #rough idea. There was a kid who came up and asked me for an autograph. I #told him it was cycling, and he didn't want my autograph. '32. Los Angeles. # # The only celebrities we had when we were there was mostly the movie #actors. Quite a few movie actors were bicycle riders. It was their #favorite sport. They always invited us to their parties and everything. #We got invited to go see the polo game and, of course, Clark Gable was #playing polo. We went to that. We met him. Who ran around with the #bicycle gang was Joey Brown. Joey Brown was quite a comedian -- was #quite an athlete. # # Being in the Olympics was just part of racing I guess. It was a nice #thing to do. To be in the Olympics was something. You didn't have to #worry about publicity. You didn't have to worry about professionals. #Today, they pick all professionals and that's wrong. Figure skating is #all professional. You look at 'em -- God, they're multimillionaires #almost. It's not a nice Olympics anymore. # # The '36 Olympics in Berlin, I qualified for that, too. We took a boat. #It took four days. We had about 1,000 athletes on that altogether. At #that time, everybody was the same. All the stars -- even Jesse Owens -- #were with us. And Helen Hayes, the movie actor. She was on there, too.

# # The day of the Olympic games they lined up all the countries and here #came the big limousine, and up above was the Hindenburg. And Hitler, #Goebbels, Goering, you name it, they were all there. They got out of #their car and then they opened up the Games. A friend of ours went up to #Hitler and asked for his autograph. He signed it. He was building his #country at that time. # # In the road race, someone fell and 25 of us went down. There was 200 #riders. So I got up and start chasing. I'll be darned if the guy in #front of me falls. I fall down again. Then I had no place to go -- fell #a third time. And the fourth time I went down, I was with five other #fellows, and I see the finish line. I think, "I'll just go right around #them." Zoom. Just as I get in front of them my rear wheel collapsed. I #took the whole five down with me. # # My dream in '36 was to turn professional and ride the Tour de France #and the Tour of Italy. I went one time to train (with pros). I wanted to #see how they lived. I didn't like it. I didn't like the way they live, #drink, eat. They took painkillers -- not drugs like they take today, #like steroids. The traveling and all, I didn't like that. I was more of #a homebody, you know. # # Everybody has a dream of becoming a pro -- in most of the sports. But #you get disappointed in a way because you don't want to live that way. #For me, I like the easy life. I like to do whatever I feel like doing. #Right now? Riding the bike. I feel better when I ride, If I don't ride, #I feel lazy somehow. # # Becoming a pro was a dream. But then it disappeared. And it went like #nothing. Even today, it doesn't bother me. But I enjoy riding a bicycle. #It was the pleasure of riding a bicycle that stopped me from becoming a #pro. I wanted to be free. Whatever I did, I rode the bike free. I was a #free man. # # What I'd like in the future is to be 100. And I'd like to carry the #torch for the Olympics. I would love to see the day when I could carry #it. Either I carry the torch or somebody carry me -- one of the two. #_______________________________________________ #Classicrendezvous mailing list #Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org #http://www.bikelist.org/mailman/listinfo/classicrendezvous