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Graeme Obree

Full name: Douglas Graeme Obree
Nickname(s): The Flying Scotsman
Gender: Male
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
Weight: 161 lbs (73 kg)
Born: September 11, 1965 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Great Britain
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Cycling

Biography

Scotsman Graeme Obree emerged from obscurity on 17 July 1993, when, after failing to break the world hour record the previous day, Obree succeeded in breaking Francesco Moser’s mark. He did so on a remarkable, self-engineered bicycle, with an unusual but very aerodynamic position, with his arms below his chest. As was widely published, the cycle included bearings Obree had taken from a washing machine. Obree lost his record within a week, to fellow Briton Christopher Boardman, who used a carbon-fibre monocoque bicycle. Obree got his revenge on Boardman when he eliminated him in the semi-finals of the World Championships in the individual pursuit, which Obree eventually won. Obree regained the world hour record in 1994, although he lost it to Miguel Induraín later in the year. Obree saw his riding position banned in 1995, but he countered with yet another bicycle, employing the so-called “superman position”, in which the arms were extended forward, again realizing an aerodynamic position. Obree again won the the pursuit title with this new position, although it was also subsequently banned. Obree retired after a failed attempt to become a pro road racer, because he refused to take the doping that he, according to Obree, “would have been forced to take.” Obree later had personal problems and, after divorcing, twice attempted to take his life. In 2011 he came out as gay, and attributed his suicide attempts to his own personal conflicts with his sexual orientation.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1996 Summer 30 Atlanta Cycling Men's Individual Pursuit, 4,000 metres Great Britain GBR 11

Men's Individual Pursuit, 4,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1996 Summer 30 Atlanta Cycling Great Britain Qualifying Round 11 4:34.297
1996 Summer 30 Atlanta Cycling Great Britain Qualifying Round Heat Nine 2 4:34.297