Some interesting times and many miles flown around the world for this update.
First, I dropped by Dubai to give a talk for and participate in the Ride for Roy, a 65-kilometer memorial ride for Roy Nasr, who was tragically killed last year while riding his bike. The funds raised from the event will go towards the educational costs for Roy’s children.
Roy was a prominent triathlon personality in Dubai, a co-founder of TriDubai. Everyone in the triathlon community in the Middle East knew him, and he inspired many. Roy made a huge impact on triathlon in Dubai. Triathlon is more than just swimming, biking, and running. It’s about community. I’m proud to be one of the 1,150 who took part in the ride.
After one of the longest flights known to man, I woke up in Rio for the launch of Under Armour Brazil. It was a chance to catch up with my buddy Kevin Plank and some of the other Under Armour athletes, like George St. Pierre.
I still had my bike, so I got the opportunity to get some good riding in. Ipanema Beach up to the Corcovado has got some big boy climbs, but the view from the top is amazing! Check me out with The Big Boss. He says I’ve got a great year ahead. 😉
The last leg of my trip took me back to the Middle East, this time to Bahrain. I met Crown Prince Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain at Challenge Philippines and he told me then he was planning to swim the crossing from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain (35 kilometers!) for charity. He’d been planning to do it solo, but when he mentioned he was worried about sharks I offered to get a bunch of people — Olympians, world champion swimmers and triathletes — to swim at least a kilometer each with him.
It was not a swim for the faint-hearted. I jumped in during the morning, and then again at sunset for about an hour and a half each time. It was the first time I’d ever swum through the night.
The prince was in a bad way. He’d battled high waves, strong currents, sea snakes, and the sheer fatigue of going such a distance. So many of us there started to doubt he would make it… but he did. At 2 AM, he walked up out of the water onto the beach into his father the King’s arms.
Prince Khalid told me that in his military training there was an imaginary line crossed when starting an operation, and there’s no going back. The only way he would not have made that crossing is if he didn’t survive. He is a tough, tough man and has definitely earned my respect.