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74-year-old Rockford cyclist wins Illinois Senior Olympic bronze medal

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A 74-year-old Rockford native goes for gold on his competitive bicycle, but for Thomas Brain, the accolades are secondary, he just wants to get a good ride in.

“Today happens to be my birthday,” Brain said.

74 and staying active, like many in the Rockford region, Brain decided it was a good idea to try and cycle to stay healthy.

“At this age most people go I’m retired I’m not going to do anything and you have to really stay active,” Brain said.

Brain admits, he didn’t think his 45-minute cycling workouts would take him to the podium.

“I knew I had a slight chance to get in,” Brain said.

Brain won a bronze medal in the Illinois Senior Olympics in Springfield. His 5k time trial qualifies him to ride at a national level.

“It’s kind of addictive, you kind of like it,” Brain said. “This is when you’re pushing to the limit without going over it, it’s kind of like doing a stress test.”

Brain says he’s been riding a bike recreationally since he was 12-years-old. Now as he turns 74, he just wants to stay active and do his best in every race he can ride.

“There are some of the top ones that have raced for 30 years they’re getting older,” Brain said. “It’s hard to get up to that level, I might but I want to stay active, I don’t know if I can get to that level or not but it’s a good incentive.”

Brain says he will race in two national competitions, one in Utah this October, and another next May.

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