Fabian Cancellara had not planned to be a world-class cyclist. After all, his first true passion as a child was soccer. Yet that would all change when he fell in love with an old family bike at the age of 13. From that day on, Cancellara would embrace cycling over soccer and never look back. It’s a good thing he did because if not, the world would have missed out on one of the best cyclists of all time.
Cancellara’s success in the cycling world began immediately. As a young rider, he consistently dominated the field, leading him to receive the nickname, “Spartacus,” due to his athletic and powerfully built frame. To this day, his physique has helped attribute him with legendary sprinting prowess, and as a result, he is particularly dangerous in the finishing stages of races. Skills such as these made it possible for Cancellara to fulfill his dream of winning an Olympic medal in 2008 – Cancellara took gold in his specialty of time trials, while also winning silver in the Road race.
Following a successful Olympics, he went on to earn the title of “Swiss Sportsman of the Year.” In more recent years, he has won Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) races Paris-Roubaix in 2013 as well as the Tour of Flanders in 2013 and 2014. A five-time winner of the opening stage at the Tour de France, Cancellara will aim to produce a legendary swan song this year by claiming his first outright Tour de France victory.
Along with being a world-class cyclist, Cancellara engages in a great deal of community service in his native country, Switzerland. There, he serves as an ambassador for the Laureus Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of disadvantaged children through sport. Cancellara annually holds a “Laureus for Cycle Good” event in his home country, and, as a result, is able to raise funds for various domestic charities. From a personal standpoint, he auctions off his own TREK bikes at the event, with the proceeds directly supporting Swiss youth.
Altogether, his fundraising efforts have helped to ensure that the Laureus Foundation will continue to make a significant impact on the lives of others. These charitable contributions exemplify the type of Character that other athletes around the world should strive to embody as well.
After a long and prosperous career, this year will be Fabian Cancellara’s last as a professional cyclist. His future absence will certainly leave a huge void in the cycling community. As his final Tour de France approaches, we here at AthleteCRUSH would like to wish him the best of luck. With such Skill and strong Character, he makes it awfully easy to cheer for him.
Follow the writer Corey on Twitter @_BringDaPayne_
Posted 12 July 2016