- Actor Patrick Dempsey will serve as an honorary captain for the U.S. Olympic cycling team in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics this summer.
- Dempsey is an avid cyclist and has been involved in the sport for years, including the Amgen Tour of California’s Breakaway from Cancer in 2007.
- This is part of USA Cycling’s effort to raise awareness for the sport and team.
USA Cycling announced on February 12 that actor Patrick Dempsey will be serving as an honorary captain for the U.S. Olympic cycling team this year. Dempsey’s role is part of USA Cycling’s effort, through new chief executive Rob DeMartini, to help promote both the sport overall and the U.S. team at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
According to USA Cycling’s press release, “the partnership is a natural extension of work Dempsey already has been doing within the cycling world.” It’s also part of DeMartini’s objective to connect with more recreational riders.
Though Dempsey is more widely known for his role in ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, he’s been an avid cyclist for quite some time. He grew up riding around his hometown of Lewiston, Maine, including mountain biking and BMX. Dempsey became more engaged with the sport in 2007 through his involvement with the Amgen Tour of California’s Breakaway from Cancer.
“I have been a passionate cyclist for years now and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, one that I could not pass up,” Dempsey said in the press release. “Cycling is not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle, and it is important to bring awareness to the world. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to play a small part in USA Cycling.”
[Find 52 weeks of tips and motivation, with space to fill in your mileage and favorite routes, with the Bicycling Training Journal.]
Dempsey has also previously used his involvement with cycling as a way to raise money for his nonprofit, the Dempsey Center, located in Lewiston, Maine. With a second location in Portland, Maine, the organization offers a variety of support to those affected by cancer. (Dempsey’s mother passed away from ovarian cancer in 2014 after a 17-year battle.)
Every September, the organization hosts a cycling and running fundraiser called the Dempsey Challenge, which offers rides of varying distances over it’s scheduled weekend. Last year, the event raised $1.2 million for the organization.
Dempsey has also worked with former pro cyclist Tom Danielson in hosting various cycling events, through their T20 Cycling initiative.
Other celebrities have served as Olympic honorary captains in the past; recently retired NFL tight end Vernon Davis was asked to be an honorary captain for the U.S. curling team in 2010.
You Might Also Like