Last week, I was in Napa, California (I know. Rough assignment.) to meet up with Olympic BMX hopeful Donny Robinson. Donny grew up in Napa and lives at home when he’s not traveling to races. Although he’s well known in BMX circles, he’s virtually unknown to the mainstream sports world. For that reason, no fewer than five times we had this conversation …
Donny: You didn’t come out here just to interview me?
Me: Yes, Donny. That’s my job.
Donny: Really? For me? I’m a nobody.
Me: Maybe not for long.
Donny: So, really … all the way here? Just for me?
Donny’s mom works at a transitional center for 19-21 year-old mentally handicapped men and women. She had asked him to come by for a visit, since he’s a bit of a hometown superhero to her students. We stopped by around noon, and the class flipped out. As far as they were concerned, he was Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Derek Jeter all rolled into one tiny, 5’5″ BMX racer. They posed for photos, had him sign posters and asked him about his upcoming trip to Bejing.
Guess he’s not such a nobody after all.