By Jean-François Quénet in Beijing, China
Some 12 years after his Olympic Games debut in Atlanta, United States of America, Australia's Bradley McGee is ready to tackle his fourth and final Olympics this weekend in Beijing, China. While McGee was just 20 when he claimed an individual pursuit bronze in 1996, the now 32 year-old rider's preparation for the Games started in Adelaide at just 16 or 17 years of age.
"It means half of my life has been related to the Olympics," McGee said.
McGee was a junior world champion when his home town of Sydney was awarded the Olympic Games back in 1993, seven years before the 2000 event. He almost missed the event due to a broken collarbone 17 days out, but managed to repeat the third place that made him famous in Atlanta four years earlier. In Athens, Greece, he moved one step up in the individual pursuit, but it was in the team pursuit he finally got a gold medal.
The same quartet is reunited in Beijing with Brett Lancaster, Luke Roberts and Graeme Brown all donning the green and yellow. The Australian squad is boosted by two up and coming pursuiters Mark Jamieson and Jack Bobridge.
"These young guys are going really well," McGee said.
McGee joined the other Australian riders in Büttgen, Germany, for final Olympic Games preparations, after recovering from his Giro d'Italia crash, which saw him break the same collarbone as in 2000. He will represent Australia in the individual pursuit again final against the other Bradley, Wiggins, the defending champion from Great Britain.
"This is for sure my last Olympics," said McGee. "I'm focused and relaxed. I enjoy every second of my life here at the Olympic venues."