Opinion: Aaron Gwin & The Importance of Vulnerability

Jul 20, 2022 at 1:56
by Matt Wragg  
Header for Matt s Op Ed pieces.

Words: Matt Wragg

I’m glad Aaron Gwin is back at the sharp end.

Through the years I will admit to not being his biggest fan. His whole approach to racing was very… American. It felt like it was all about success, winning, and money, and for me at least, it left me completely cold.

I remember the weekend he came flying down Leogang with no tire on his rear wheel, the weekend when he won without a chain, the great winning streaks, and the five overall titles… as a racing fan, impressive as it all was, I have to admit that it did nothing for me.

Then there were all the rumors around about how he was only in mountain biking for the money. Once he got to a certain point, he’d pack his bags and go back to hanging around with the cooler (and certainly richer) motocross kids. It didn’t take much imagination on my part to picture such a scenario.

Recently I wrote for our sister site, CyclingTips, about French road racer Thibaut Pinot. Pinot is the opposite of everything Gwin used to show us - away from the racing he lives a simple life on a farm, on the road he frequently fails, yet you can always see his determination to fight, no matter the odds. He wears his heart on his sleeve and has a legion of loyal fans across the globe who adore his dogged determination.

Warning shots were fired last time out in Lenzerheide but it appears something is once again clicking for Aaron Gwin. Will we see true Gwizzard form in the US or legendary Sainte Anne

Last summer, riding with a friend who used to work for a brand Gwin rode for, I asked him about how it was to work with him, gleefully awaiting much shit-talking about how the once-mighty had fallen. My friend took a moment to think, then told me a small story.

At the height of his success, Gwin and his teammate (a racer with more of a public reputation as a nice guy) popped over to visit the office my friend worked in and go for a ride. After the ride, without asking, Gwin went around and washed everyone's bikes.

It’s a simple story, but it has changed my entire way of thinking about Gwin. I realized that everything I had assumed from his public image was wrong. For several months I struggled to reconcile this new idea, and then watching RuPaul’s Drag Race I found the missing piece.

Haters gonna hate. Haters gonna be tempted to say they weren t haters now because Aaron Gwin is back.

One of the things RuPaul has consistently told contestants on the show is that if you want fans to fall in love with you, you need to show them your vulnerability. When you strip away the drama and the dresses, much of RuPauls Drag Race is simply about helping people to express themselves without fear of how others will judge them. And that was my issue with Gwin in a nutshell.

Everything we saw looked strong, for whatever reason he did not want to show chinks in his armor. You didn’t see him struggling, you didn’t see him doubt himself, you didn’t see him question everything he believed on his path to victory. And without that, he just seemed like the pastiche of a racer - a bold image with no substance but great palmares.

Yet in his struggles to find the form he once had, I feel like Gwin is starting to show us that vulnerability. It has clearly been a long, hard road and his failures have been all-too-public. Through his struggles, we can understand how much he wants to be a part of the sport. He seemed happy to bag a podium spot at Vallnord last time out, while in the past anything less than outright domination looked like a defeat.

I didn’t like the racer who took those five titles, but I do like the guy in my friend’s story, I like the guy fighting to prove he can still do it - and that is what I would love to see more of. I just hope he listens to RuPaul’s advice, the drag is optional but encouraged.

Author Info:
mattwragg avatar

Member since Oct 29, 2006
750 articles

  • 325 9
 Interesting individual opinion. I've always thought of Gwin of being a real one from the beginning, and that hasn't changed despite his recent wins/loses.
  • 93 2
 Agreed. I think the author was only seeing what he wanted to see. I also think it’s cultural. Americans and the French fundamentally view some characteristic traits differently. Not saying one is better than the other but just saying they’re different and that’s okay. TBH I can see how the author arrived at his initial conclusion but I can also see how he never really got who Gwin was all along.
  • 151 75
 I read this as the author saying: 'I hate Americans, Gwin acted too American, therefor I made up reasons to dislike him.'
  • 78 7
 @Weens: Judge someone until they act the way you like, then righteously declare they need not be judged.
  • 44 7
 @Deanosuar: There's an old saying that Americans have a cultural inferiority complex to Europeans while Europeans have an economic and military inferiority complex to Americans. I think there's something to that and I think a lot of Americans and Europeans alike overcompensate along these lines. Many Europeans strike me as over-eager to frame Americans through their own personal insecurities, stereotypes, and biases of Americans and get a lot wrong about Americans accordingly. A lot of it is increasingly outdated as well. Relics from the cold war, etc.
  • 47 1
 I remember when Gwin blasted on to the scene back in his Yeti days and every interview I saw he was just so pumped to be racing and riding his bike. I think he still has that same stoke but there was a period a few years back when he was laser focused but I don't think he lost any of that enthusiasm he had from his Yeti days.
  • 9 1
 @burnermtb: that makes a lot of sense, we all gravitate to the culturally familiar. Like a lot of youthful biases we index towards our familiar when were young and lack greater cultural exposure. Here it seems the author is simply growing up, just like the rest of us lol
  • 1 1
  • 24 0
 @MTBrent: I mean, he literally stated: "Through the years I will admit to not being his biggest fan. His whole approach to racing was very… American."
  • 69 2
 @burnermtb: The fact that anyone can just group all Americans or Europeans or anyone else into a certain persona is crazy. Much of these stereotypes are generated by the media, and many believe it because that is all they know about, based on said media. I remember following the Tour De France 12 years ago , We went from town to town in France, thinking " the French would be so rude" esp. to Americans. Well nearly every French person we met and interacted with, were some of the most hospitable and nice people I have ever met. So for me, it was eye opening and really opened my mind to "experiencing before believing".

In terms of AG, I have ran into him at least a dozen times on our local trails here in Murrieta, and he has always been super down to earth and always open to a picture or conversation. I think he gets a bad rap for being "a professional" in a group of traditional "misfits" in the MTB Racing world. No drinking, no drugs, no "just one of the bro's" type attitude. I can see where that would alienate him from many of his peers back in the day, but that is also what made him so good! I think many are starting to appreciate the hard work and professionalism that he helped bring to the sport. In terms of Money: Why would anyone fault him ( or anyone else) for making the most out of contracts and making $$$. We should always maximize our worth. Most Athletes have a very short window to make as much money as possible in their sport. They need to take advantage of that while they can, to set themselves up for the rest of their lives.
  • 46 1
 @Three6ty: I think that openly "maximising your worth" is part of the stereotypical American image that doesn't resonate well with many British people, it's often read as a bit lacking in class, despite being something that we all obviously work hard for and strive to attain. I didn't say it made sense.

The comparisons to Gee in similar years are probably pretty fair, to many Brits his stoic nature and professionalism was understandable, but to Americans he largely came across as rude or arrogant.

Both are awesome riders and from what we've seen more recently, awesome people.
  • 8 8
 Very weird article. For me it was almost the opposite sometimes: yes, He seemed rather reserved, He undoubtably showed his disappointment with some raceruns. But it was exactly this almost autistic behaviour that made him not so likeable. While we expect the winner of a race to celebrate and enjoy that special Moment, Aaron seemed unpleased when he lost time in some sector, even if it just meant that he won by a 2s instead of a 3s margin.
  • 17 2
 @L0rdTom: I can see your point, but I for one, do not want to rely on my government in my retirement, so I am trying to maximize my worth now, so I don't have to work past 60 and will defer any SS checks to as far out as possible. It's really no different for many young athletes. Not so much in MTB, but in traditional sports, these players can make generational wealth often before they turn 30. In MTB, it is not necessarily generational wealth, but if AG (or any other rider) can make enough money in a short 10 year window in order to have a comfortable living for his own life, then I am all for it. He has been much smarter than most earning money of his name and likeness. Some may call it arrogant, others call it SMART.
  • 4 1
 @MatthewCarpenter: kind of have to remember that, by and large, no one was actually competitive with him at that time, so his fiercest competition was himself. At least that’s how I remember those seasons when he dominated.
  • 26 87
flag Pinemtn (Jul 26, 2022 at 18:29) (Below Threshold)
 Tell me your an annoying leftist retard without telling me your an annoying leftist retard... the subtle undertones of disdain towards the USA. LOL
  • 5 0
 I think it mistakes him being humble for him not wanting to show vulnerability. Still an interesting article.
  • 21 4
 I wonder, if Aaron’s success had been more of slow burn and not so dominate, if the euros would have liked him more. But he kicked the door in like swat and absolutely WASTED everyone. That will piss some people off and they’ll hold onto their bullshit opinion for too long. Because they suck.
  • 10 0
 @jray152: I think you're right. I don't think people appreciated him being a latecomer to the sport either, it doesn't bode well for egos that grew up racing DH and winning all the time to suddenly get knocked down by someone who barely entered the sport 8 months prior to his World Cup debut.

I think Gwin's unique arrival in the sport may influence how people perceive his passion for mountain bikes. Mind you Gwin has never been 'just' a mountain biker- he began racing World Cups literally the year he first tried this sport and has ever since. I think that leads people to believe he's a career racing guy who doesn't actually have that ingrained passion many of us find in childhood. If you've ever raced bikes though you know this to be untrue, racing is when I feel most like I did when I first started. It brings anxiety, emotion, excitement- it's like riding for the first few times all over again.
  • 3 2
 @burnermtb: most American’s dgaf about Europe. MTB is the only thing that “enlightened” me to euro culture. We have so much good and bad going on here it’s hard to be envious of somewhere else.
  • 12 0
 Agreed. Pretty strange to me the thought of Gwin as being your "typical American" (whatever that means).....the dude always seemed to me as very humble and a really polite, amicable guy, even in the early days of his career.
  • 19 1
 @Three6ty: True, and this issue is timely, since with Snowshoe coming up, and Snowshoe being in rural West Va, predictably - and with some, admittedly, merit - we will undoubtedly see this weekend every European haplessly playing the part of a gun toting, US flag underwear wearing, Walmart shopping redneck while on US soil (happens every year). Don't get me wrong...I'm down for a little cultural ribbing and people do need to relax and be a little less serious about such things. Much of it is in good fun and, to be fair, it is West VA which even many Americans would agree, often fits its stereotype.

That said, the over-the-top nature of it is quite unique and, notably, is NOT replicated by American riders, staff, etc., when they are abroad at Euro races. When you think of riders like say Dak Norton, and Gwin now (who now lives in TN), or say Neko....all of them now reside in southeast US and seem to love it. It's always struck me that, while they of course don't show it, it must be a little bit off-putting to go into these environments where there's just this mass of Europeans on US soil effectively in a state of constant mockery of where they live. If the behavior were reversed, the charges of "ugly American" would be immediate.
  • 13 4
 @Pinemtn: wow your a f*cking c*nt eh?
  • 5 0
 @burnermtb: Spot on assessment.
  • 6 2
 @jshutts22: The American side of this saying is typically concentrated in the American "knowledge" classes, i.e., the college educated professional sector with some intl travel under their belt. Basically, the "oldness" of Europe - something which many Europeans take for granted - is something which many Americans find very awe inspiring and, as a consequence, a source of great insecurity due to the lack of it in the US. Of course, you are correct, that many American "dgaf" about Europe. But, for those that do, there is often great insecurity felt by the comparative lack of an ancient "culture" in the US. Happens a lot to the young American college educated set after their first trip to Europe, where they come back absolutely smitten with Europe and therefore overcompensate in ascribing an almost utopian quality to European social democracies.

This is very old, btw, recognized almost immediately as one of many "old world" vs. "new world" tensions.
  • 3 1
 @Deanosuar: much different gearing in French and American tanks too
  • 10 0
 @L0rdTom: I think the comparison to Gee is spot on.

On a separate note but using gee as a reference again I think private people tend to attract a lot of misplaced hate in the public eye.

If you were to place Aaron and Gee on a spectrum they would classify as ‘extremely private’. You can see their sponsors have tried over the years to force a personal connection with fans using vlogs, house tours, etc. Unfortunately for truly private people no matter where the camera goes or what questions are asked they will not be the open book fans and sponsors want.

On the other end of the spectrum would be our author’s hero RuPaul.

Yes it feels good to connect with public figures. Yes it’s good professional advice to encourage private celebrities to try to open up.

But to hate someone for being private, even if it is common, is really close minded. Add in the anti-American sentiments and I’ll agree with the crowd here that the article is in very poor taste.
  • 7 0
 @Deanosuar: Yeah, as you get older, you realize that youth is often a frustrating mix of extreme confidence combined with extreme ignorance/lack of experience. Your mind and your body makes you think you've got it all figured out, but you really don't know sh*t. That is why it is often the case that just a couple years removed from college - where you got some years "adulting" under your belt - and college kids start to look really cringey.

Wisdom is achieved when you finally have enough experience to know that effectively, you know nothing.
  • 1 1
 @Deanosuar: French, I mean, Freedom fries, please....Wink
  • 3 0
 @jray152: Possibly, though, it's important to note the history of MTB'ing. Now, of course, the precise origins of such a broad thing as "riding a bike off-road" is always up for debate, it's difficult to dispute the very American origins of "mountain biking", at least in terms that we understand it mean today. So, because of its very American origins, it should come as no surprise, and certainly shouldn't upset, Europeans when an American comes on the scene and starts dominating. This sport that Europeans now love wouldn't likely even exist but for Americans. Still though, there's somewhat of a pattern here where in the 80's-90's, Americans did the bulk of the grunt work to get a lot "new" outdoor sports off the ground and then, over time, other countries start to overtake the sport. Seems like this is going on with snowboarding. I wonder if it's the case where you have this initial generation of pioneers that initially dominate, but then a certain amount of complacency sets in among the younger folks.
  • 6 0
 @Three6ty: You wrongly frame AG as a man with no vices - he openly professes to cut loose and have ice cream after some races. Clearly a trouble maker! Seriously, I like that he pokes fun at his own clean cut image.
  • 3 0
 @L0rdTom: We met Gee at Mont Saint Anne in 2016. He was totally loose and personable after the race. It dawned on me that people falsely interpret his focus during races as something other than an athlete doing his/her best to perform and win. It also dawned on me that his sullen face at the 2013 WC finale was completely directed toward himself (maybe a little too hard on himself) and was in no way directed toward Stevie, as so many PB commenters suggested.
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: This is funny, as it was the europeans bringing over their euro sports cars such as Porsche 550 Spyder with their hotheaded "better than though" attitude to Willow Springs/Riverside that many Americans did not resonate with.
  • 3 2
 @smashingorange: just ignore the retard
  • 2 0
 @burnermtb: Americans do have nicer teeth!!!
  • 2 1
 @MOLDTRUTH: Some of the TV programmes I've seen set in Alaska and the Deep South tell me this isn't a universal truth.
  • 7 0
 @burnermtb: Ha! So right, here are a couple of amusing quotes that embody your statement(s)

"When I was 18, I was embarrassed how dumb my father was, when I turned twenty one I was surprised how smart he became in three years"
-Mark Twain

"Youth is wasted on the young"
-George Bernard Shaw
  • 223 8
 This is an interesting, albeit weird, article, and deserves/needs to be longer. I started out intrigued and willing to read a 15-20min article about the rise of Aaron Gwin and his personal anecdotes, the "middle" success area, and the build back up, to where we are today. Instead, I got one opinion, one anecdote, a forced reference to RuPaul, and some dissatisfaction.
  • 23 0
 There was a good Gypsy Tales podcast where Gwin talked at length about his beginnings and some funny stories.
  • 7 0
 @gregs22: funny I was just watching those. He even mentions one of the great things about sport is that some people will love you and some will hate you. it is all part of the game and he knows it as well as anyone.
  • 9 3
 Way too short! I was definitely expecting a longer article too. I've always thought Gwin seemed super cool but I got into mtb in like 2017/2018 so just after his domination days. I've seen lots of people who seem to hate on Gwin for no apparent reason and it's always been strange to me. This article kinda helped me understand it though. I was so stoked when he was in first last week, even if only for one rider. Can't wait to see what he does this weekend!
  • 25 2
 For real. SoCal two-wheeled racers who are well-off and into Jesus. And win a lot of races. Maybe he didn’t sign the authors water bottle.
  • 8 0
 @DylanH93 You're wrong, 2017 was a spectacular season, where it started with a DNS and ended up winning the great champion with an incredible comeback. In 2018 he won the first race in Losinj and he was very strong, he was ready to win the GC again, unfortunately he couldn't due to injuries in Fort Bill and Val Di Sole ;-)
  • 2 0
 @Rosstech: ahh thank you for the information, now I'm tempted to go back just to watch those races. I meant I got into mtb and only just started watching world champs in 2017 then all the races by 2018. At first it was just like "idk any of these guys but this is so sick!" Took at least a full season to really understand the legacies and stories behind everyone and by that time he was over his "peak". Really hoping to see another 1st place though, especially this weekend.
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93 Aaron Gwin with the World Championships is an odyssey of bad luck, although in that same year (2017) he took home a Bronze medal after a somewhat weak descent. This weekend you will not see him win, he still needs to improve. Greetings ;-)
  • 21 0
 I don’t know what the f*** I’m reading when a “guy” on a mtn bike site can’t get excited about winning a bike racing without a f***ing chain from the start hut but gets all bonerd up about “very relatable” advice from grown ass men playing cartoon dress up of women.
It’s almost like you wanted to poke some old , white , non-woke American guy in the eye with a stick and then sh** right in his cereal bowl.
  • 7 0
 @scary1: Thank you. For F***s sake, AG is a mega ripper. Watching him ride is a work of art. Can't we just we just appreciate that? Why do pro athletes need to validate the author's personality preferences? give me a break.
  • 4 0
 @scary1: Pretty certain if the last line of this article came up in say, a podcast format, Gwin would tastefully laugh it off with something like “the only drag you’ll get from me is a little on my brakes, man.” That being said, my eye hurt after reading this article, and I was definitely giving my corn flakes a good once over.

I have never met Gwin, but I watched footage of him from Downhill Southeast racing this spring with my son. “That’s how you want to ride!”, I told him. Fast and smooth, smooth and fast. At the finish he was sharing the racing stoke with everyone like a teenager. What more could you ask for?
  • 1 0
 @Stihlgoin: no way . Gwin always starts a sentence with “Fer sure”..
  • 168 9
 Lost me at "when he won without a chain [...], as a racing fan, [...] it did nothing for me."
  • 56 5
 Yeah, like this article did nothing for me, except make me think the author is a judgmental douche bag. I’ve always thought Gwin was super talented and a cool dude.
  • 16 32
flag zede (Jul 26, 2022 at 23:15) (Below Threshold)
 @Twenty6ers4life: I don't think the author has said anywhere he thought gwin wasn't talented.
American are really sensitive when you dare expressing personal opinion about their beloved countrymen. Funny what ultranationalism does to people
  • 17 1
 @zede: I don't think that disliking a discriminatory take falls under "ultranationalism". I think that the author is expressing that his take on Gwinn was misguided (and I would argue based on racism and perhaps some ultranationalism) and he was saying how he has seen these opinions lacked a real foundation and that has fallen apart once real information about the person came to light.
  • 23 0
 @zede: The Austrian calls America ultranationalist lol Care to inform us why there are so many European countries in the first place? Why two European ethnicities have rarely ever co-existed for any lasting time in the same nation?
  • 12 0
 @zede: I don't think Austrians or other fellow Eurobros from homogenous countries should preach about nationalism. Remember, the US represent all nations in the world; ask Arnie. Wink
  • 4 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: +1 Couldn't have said/asked it better.
  • 113 3
 If Gwin can win without a chain, then he can win wearing high heels!
  • 6 7
 I think that would actually be much more difficult. You still wouldn't be able to pedal let alone grip the pedals on choppy descents.
  • 6 0
 @camcoz69: clipping in with heels would work. But certainly not with flats. Duh.
  • 4 0
 I rode my bike to the library in flip-flops at the weekend. Going downhill at speed was terrifying! High heels would probably be even worse, depending on the straps…
  • 12 0
 Just wait for the Jimmy Choo x FiveTen collab that's in the works...
  • 10 0
 @threehats: but think about how good your calves would look.
  • 1 0
 Hahaha, yes!
  • 2 0
 @camcoz69: Nina Hoffman finished a world cup race in her sock
  • 89 1
 Gwins a real one, and always has been....kind of a misplaced opinion IMO, but whatever. Hell even at the 2015 WC in Windham NY, he autographed my cooler and gave me and my buddy fist bumps after I rudely interrupted him coming out of the lodge, and his mechanic let my buddy squish the suspension and play with the brakes on his Demo 8 in the pits.
  • 15 0
 Don't get the negativity toward him either. Dudes a truely professional racer, always has been. And while that may not be the most fun or popular for fans, he'll go down as 1 of the absolute greatest ever to throw a leg over a DH bike. Works hard, disciplined, great attitude, great example for young riders career in my opinion.
  • 80 1
 Was able to see him at Windham…and that shit was bananas. He was genuinely stoked to win in the US (it appeared). Afterwards he mentioned God and ice cream in interviews, two things he apparently digs, besides absolutely shredding. Shared some moonshine with the Rat after the same race and thanked him for keeping the punk vibe in the sport (his response….someone has to). Both have made decisions a lot have questioned, both are champions of the sport, and both are very different badasses we are lucky to have
  • 4 0
 @Ensminger well said. Kudos
  • 4 0
  • 3 0
 I gave Ratboy a Yuengling in the pits that day! Bernerd Kerr gave me some used maxxis swampthings too, he was flying back to england and he told me they were just going to throw them out.
  • 87 18
 Awe yes, and pinkbike is only in it for the sport and not the money at all so they definitely deserve to be on that high horse.
  • 1 0
 All the cool people in it for the sport sign up for Outside+
  • 62 1
 Small story. One day at Interbike, Gwin was at the ODI booth doing autographs and such. I wanted to ask him questions in regards to my own business and RedBull. He was not busy at the moment and he gave me about 15 minutes to just privately chat with him and his experience with some supplements. I was about 17 or 18. He didnt need to do this and I asked some very sensitive questions when it came to some sponsors and such. He was very honest. So much that he encouraged me to start my business. At the time he said he would want my product for racing. So I made my business. I thank you Gwin. Maybe one day Ill have you under my companies name.
  • 4 0
 What's your company?
  • 29 0
 @jalopyj: Hopefully not Choco Tacos.
  • 17 1
 @jalopyj: My company is, monarchenergy.com I make a caffeine supplement. Meant to be effective as possible without any side effects. Most importantly, healthier than the competitors.
  • 2 0
 @chillrider199: I just read that Klondike discontinued them.
  • 9 1
 @chillrider199 That's the thing I am seeing in the comments here - there are so many people with cool, little stories about him, which is precisely my frustration - I feel like I never got to see or meet that guy, and I would have liked to.
  • 57 3
 This was a weird read, not liking a racer because he wants to win and make a living and be successful then applying a lesson from a drag show to his career?

Anyways he has definitely had more of motocross style approach in the past as far as they are all usually very results based and focused and pretty private personally but he seems like he's having more fun now which can also lead to success.
  • 4 3
 Yeah, honestly that attitude reminds me of the shit I see about the LIV golf thing vs.PGA. I don't give a shit about golf, but people won't shut up about LIV - it's all about money, the golfers that defected are gold-diggers, Saudi Arabian money is evil, etc. Like it's bad that professional athletes want to achieve success and make a lot of money doing it. And somehow the PGA is now cast as this altruistic bastion of integrity because they *pay their players less* and make them grind out a ton more events (to say nothing of shady companies they've probably taken sponsorship dollars from)??
  • 5 1
 The takeaway I have from this article is the classic book-by-cover analogy, albeit made with some tenuous links to a drag show. He made a judgement on Gwin without knowing his true character, then realised he's actually a true great in every sense for the sport.
  • 2 0
 @Chippps: I’m not saying large corporations are the picture of morality in this world but what PGA sponsors would rise to the level of ‘shady’ in your opinion?
  • 52 1
 I used to feel similar about Gee back in the day, but I’ve completely changed over the past 5-8 years or so, I just think I was looking more at personality than talent, whilst he undoubtedly had both, he just hid one for a while. Now have nothing but massive respect for him
  • 23 0
 I always thought Gee kinda sat on a high horse until I watched him genuinely enjoy chatting up a group of 10 year old groms at snowshoe a few years ago. Super chill dude
  • 9 0
 I thought the same thing about Gee, I met him at snowshoe in 2019, had a nice little convo with him. Changed my mind completely.
  • 15 0
 I get this. Gee one of the early breeds of super professional fit, extremely serious racers. In the early world of race by day and party at night gee was different. We all see now that he just loves bikes like the rest of us, so much so that he was willing to make every part of his life about racing them. Gwin is the same as are so many of the guys now. They are so happy racing and know how fortunate they are to be there so they work hard and try to be professionals in order to keep doing the awesome things they do. Also to me now Gee is one of my favs.
  • 12 3
 @mikebuff: “chatting up a group of 10 year old grooms” . . . He’s a great bike racer but Gee’s no Jimmy Saville!
  • 2 1
 @Bertrude: I watched the Netflix special on him recently. I knew of him, but not that much being on this side of the pound. Wow!!!
  • 7 0
 @mikebuff: I always got the high horse feels too, but I've come to think he's just so damn focused which makes him seem more serious, etc. Seems like a good dude either way... and one of the toughest out there, damn.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: a crazy watch! Surely some of those haircuts alone should have given the game away! Insane what he got away with!
  • 2 0
 It was rampage 2012 or 2013 that changed my opinion of Gee, for the better. Went from hard ass racer bro, to the professional who can still let loose and throw down with the less serious side of mtn biking.
Gwin is similar, came off as super A type socal moto bro originally. I see it more now as his determination to the sport, while still being himself. He’s pushed hard, and imo learned to take himself a bit less seriously, while not caving to industry pressure to fit a mold.
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat I'd be curious to know if you're old enough to remember the Atherton Project?
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: I think we’re very close in regards to age lol yes I do, I also remember Gee on his Intense / Haro sending road gaps in his early teens and in mbuk back in the day. However he just morphed into a proper athlete almost overnight, a guy I know / knew who worked at Leisure Lakes Wolverhampton used to spanner for him back in early 2000’s and used to say they had a right laugh. However during 2010 etc as rat was coming through and maintaining the party atmosphere with peaty etc Gee was doing his own focussed thing. I couldn’t get my biased head round the way the sport was heading and that’s on me, I thought it was more the party than the winning but it’s not and I was wrong for thinking that. Since then what I’ve noticed is just how much he (and Dan and Rach) has given to the sport and the community whilst never asking anything in return, a living legend. Gotta say though I did used to wince when I saw people rocking “pro Atherton cockpits and seat posts”, it’s also amusing how you see every circa 2005-2009 Commencal advertised as ex Atherton on pinkbike classifieds Salute
  • 3 0
 @bman33: Netflix Special?? I just went & looked, don't see it?? So maybe Netflix Canada doesn't offer that one, which SUCKS, cuzz I'd watch it for sure!!
  • 1 0
 @GT-CORRADO: that may be possible, my wife and I watched it a few months back. I just checked and it's still available on the US version.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: I did a search for Atherton, so if that's not in the title, it may not have shown up?
If I was a rich man, I'd have VPN, then I could watch it, and many other things that don't make it to Netflix CA
  • 1 0
 @GT-CORRADO: Oh, I think we miscommunicated. I was speaking of @Bertrude's comment regarding Jimmy Savile on Netflix, not the Athertons. Big Grin
  • 53 5
 The hubris of the author of this peice:
1. Let me tell you what I thought about this person I don't know
2. Then I heard an anecdote, let me tell you what I now think of this person I dont know
3. let me tell you how I think this person I don't know should behave
4. Ru Paul.
  • 65 17
 How did this make it into a pink bike article? This is stupid
  • 11 1
 Any article that's title begins with "Opinion" is going to be at least a little off.
  • 1 0
 Ru Paul
  • 45 4
 I've ran into Gwin twice at local races and he always stops by anyone and everyone who wants to say whats up or take a picture. The sport is lucky to have him, we'll all miss him at Fontana and the socal enduros,

This opinion piece is just "I though Gwin was a douce because he's American and successful, but social media is not reality so turns out he is an actual human" go back to watching RuPaul and scroll instagram
  • 37 5
 So what was the point of this article.... sounds just like an ass kissing apology. Gwin is cool, humble, very approachable on the trails at Greer in socal if you know you know. Just don't try asking for a autograph as he is dropping in to a run lol He's a competitor at the end of the day he wouldn't race if he did not have the drive to. Doesn't mean the guy doesn't like a little bit of privacy with his personal like, so respect that. I like to think of him as a tamer version of Schumacher
  • 52 0
 I met him after US Nationals last year. Was searching after the race for him while everyone was packing up because I didn't make it down the mountain in time for the podium. Found him and Dakota having a starbucks. I politely asked for a pic with him and instead of just taking a pic he asked me to stay and we talked for quite a while. I never understand the hate he gets.
  • 3 0
 Gwin has lives in my locale in the summers and all the stories I hear from people who meet him say he is super approachable and supportive of the groms. Articles like this really bother me; maybe the author would have cared to meet Gwin or at least interview him before writing such a speculative piece. Writing like this only adds to the negativity people have for Gwin, and it is so ridiculous.
  • 32 1
 Feeling mildly insulted that pursuit and achievement of success, title, medals, status and money is limited to the good people across the pond.
  • 37 0
 "Only an American professional athlete would make it all about success, winning, and money."

- Connor McGregor
- Lionel Messi
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Neymar
- David Beckham
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Roger Federer
- Novak Djokovic
- Rafael Nadal
- Fernando Alonso
- Kimi Raikkonen
  • 14 0
 Or take Eurocentric Formula 1, a wash with money from Middle East oil, Russian oligarchs, and banking elite.

Surprising to see this incoherent article is on Pink Bike. As a forum post or comment, OK. You don’t like Gwin because you think he’s opposed with winning and money, but you respect him now after you heard a story he washed some bikes and what Ru Paul on Netflix said?
  • 2 0
 @KnowMtB: lol I like this summary
  • 40 12
 We should be allowed to thumbs up/down (down for this one) articles. What a piece of journalism junk
  • 23 1
 Not trying to be an idiot (which I do often) but this is the weirdest worded paragraph.

"At the height of his success, Gwin had popped over to visit the office my friend worked in with his teammate - a racer with more of a public reputation as a nice guy. After the ride, without asking, Gwin went around everyone there, grabbed their bike, took them off them, and washed everyone's bikes."

Gwin visited the office with his teammate or Gwin visited the office with the authors friends teammate? Gwin visited this persons office and washed everybody's bikes randomly? Did they ride together first? "Took them off them"? So confused.
  • 4 0
 Grammarly browser extension bombs sometimes.
  • 30 0
 Akin to Christ washing the feet of his disciples - if Christ was into MTBing he would have washed their bikes.
  • 7 0
 Yeah based on how he worded it I'm picturing Gwin just picking people up off of their bike and setting them on the ground so he could take their bike to go wash it.
  • 3 0
 @reindeln: lol - exactly what I was thinking
  • 4 0
 Exactly my thoughts, so cool he would do that
  • 8 3
 The author is actually describing a miracle he witnessed wherein Gwin disappeared, went around everybody, made everybody's bike disappear, and then they reappeared clean. Gwin performs a miracle every few years to remind us God is on his side and we should all be believers, such as the chainless win and the rim run.
  • 3 1
 @RadBartTaylor With hindsight, yes, you're right, that sentence is a little unclear. Aaron Gwin and his teammate visited the office where my friend worked.
  • 3 0
 @mattwragg: I'm just interested in the story and wanted to understand it.

Keep talking - how / why did he wash their bikes? Did they all have their bikes there at the office for some reason?
  • 27 4
 so its an article about the point of view of a guy who got it all wrong and not about Gwin. What a waste of time
  • 20 1
 So the author likes Thibaut, who hasn't won much because he raises goats, and didn't like Gwinn because he won all the time. I do not get this guy. I loved Gwinn from the first time I saw him race. As an American, we don't have many cycling heroes. Lance being a total fraud, man other riders turned out to be cry babies like TJ or weirdos like Phinney, but then there was Gwinn. Not the bravado of a Palmer, but a regular guy who found a natural gift on the downhill bike. A Californian who wins races, doesn't party, doesn't get drunk and act like a fool - he just wins, then goes and gets ice cream. Can't get more real than that. Gwinn doesn't do all the races other guys did, the didn't go ride in the mud he just road Lake Elsinore and Mammoth then went overseas and destroyed everyone. So this article doesn't resonate with me at all.
  • 8 1
 While I agree Lance was a fraud, so was EVERY single rider all those 7 years he 'won' the TDF. I may be wrong, but I don't think any rider has been given the 'win' for any of those races since there we all doped up back then. Not excusing anything, just a point.
  • 16 0
 Dang, I don't expect to come to pinkbike and get the feels, but this hit me.

The public face we see of anyone famous is usually an act- who would have thought Justin Bieber would turn out to be a loving, caring family man?
  • 2 0
 This :heart:
  • 15 0
 My only experience with Gwin was seeing at the local winter races here in Socal. He would show up, not race but hang around and show the little groms the hot lines and offer advice etc.

While I'm the opposite of religious and find that side of him a bit much I see a man that talks the ( Christian) talk and tries to walk the walk too. He seems quiet and driven but also humble and someone who is trying to do the right thing.

I'm sure our ideologies are not aligned in any way but I'm always rooting for him. As a mtb fan you can't deny the absolutely spectacular performances he's gifted us over the years.
  • 17 1
 This article says much more about the character of the author than anything about Aaron Gwin, or vulnerability for that matter. I also remember the day Gwin won with no chain, apparently I must remember it very differently.
  • 17 4
 Ben Cathro is so likeable in the Pinkbike Racing Ft. William video because he's so vulnerable in that story. He f*cks ups as team manager, he confesses he probably won't make a podium in a world cup, and he cries when his team mate does. Those are intentional choices by a great storyteller behind the camera.

Contrast that to most world cup team videos which contain a stoic rider who says, "I didn't qualify for finals, so I'll take what I learned and do better next time." Where is the chair throwing, fights with team managers, crying into a towel? Probably intentionally left out of most videos.

Athletic prowess and stoicism are probably emphasized in most team videos because of masculine ideals,so it's not accident that Rupaul's advice gets highlighted in the article. Riders are complicated like all of us. Some of our misunderstandings of riders comes down to crappy storytelling in mountain bike videos.
  • 7 1
 This, this is the point. Thank you.
  • 2 0
 @mattwragg: Yes, unfortunately a lot of readers don't seem to get it, but I have felt exactly the same about Gwin until his recent struggles and excellent videos about his fight to get back on top
  • 8 1
 Sorry dude, but clearly you have very limited experience with top level athletes. People want sports to be some sort of reality melodrama, but at the end of the day, most of these guys are at the top because they are cool, calm and collected under pressure. If you throw a tantrum every time you get a bad result, you burn out, and people don't want to work with you. If an athlete can't take a loss productively, and treat it as an opportunity and learning experience, they will not progress, they will not win. It comes of as stoic but its not a philosophy; it is very practical. You need to stay focused at that level.

Not to pick on you, but you can't compare Cathro to Gwin. Yeah, they are both media personalities, but that is where the similarity ends. Cathro is in the media because he sort of qualifies for a WC occasionally. AG is a media personality because he has kicked the whole world's a** at DH riding for years.
  • 2 0
 @MT36: Heh, ok Michael Jordan. I'm certainly not saying Gwin should focus on his vulnerabilities. It's natural for an athlete to focus on winning. It's a misconception that the athlete is the storyteller, and we see a true reflection of them in videos. The filmmaker crafts a story, and they choose how to tell it.

Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and even Michael Jordan, came across as focused and stoic their prime. That doesn't mean they didn't have their vulnerabilities, conflict, and flaws at the top as we discovered later. Some people like their heroes to be Clint Eastwood-like silent killers. Others like to see a more vulnerable side. Depends on how you tell the story. Could be the same person.
  • 1 0
 @enjin9: Yeah for sure, the viewpoint of the story of vid is going to dictate how the athlete is percieved. I can't fault people for wanting a connection and familiarity with an athlete.
  • 2 0
 @enjin9: I think that any athlete who leaves their image to others to shape is playing a risky game - there is more understanding of how it might work and tools to use than ever. It's arguably their one of their greatest assets and to not have a conscious idea of what they want to present to the public is naive, at best.
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: Hey Matt, yeah you describe an important aspect of being a pro athlete these days. These guys certainly can manage their own image, and they can make a lot more money with that than from competition results alone. Is this exposure and subsequent cash flow a good thing? A lot of top athletes consider this a nuisance, the need to both be skilled and popular at the same time. Gwin is a champion, and champions don't have a lot of tolerance for things that don't matter to them, and instead choose to focus on competitive aspects of their career. To contrast, look at Neymar from Brazil; he has cashed in on his athletic prowess with his image and name. I am ultimately speculating, but I feel the circus has negatively affected his game.

I guess what I don't understand (and this is not directed at you personally), is why people heap so much expectation on an athlete to have some sort of personality aesthetic that validates the fan's preferences. Sure, being vulnerable is trendy these days, but if you are the kind of athlete that can win a WC chainless, your application of the craft is so mind blowing, can't we just appreciate that sort of art for what it is? For me, that single event is more of a story than anything else. It is a uniquely human story too when you think of the determination an athlete needs to maintain, for years if not decades, to have the skillset to accomplish something like that.

From the perspective of the athlete, the cool thing about competitions is it is in no way a popularity contest. I think fans should largely let an athlete's competitive results speak for themselves, and leave the popularity contest for actors. I am sure this will never happen, of course.
  • 3 0
 @MT36: I have been thinking about this topic a lot recently - with a story somewhere in mind - and I am coming to think that if an athlete wants to race for the purity of racing that is cool, but should they expect to be paid for it? If you're taking a sponsor's paycheck, at some point they will need to sell something to recoup the cost, and for that a rider needs fans (and results - there is probably a good balance somewhere, today Bruni does a good job of that, I think). So if as an athlete you're not thinking about your fans, are you doing the job you're paid for?

For me, Peaty is an ideal counterpoint here. As a Brit, I grew up following his career, he was our hero, but we felt like he was one of us, if we bumped into him maybe we'd share a pint. I think
Steve understood the power in that and made sure to cultivate that connection, embrace that image. When these things are done well it's not about acting, but being real and open - finding a way that feels authentic to the athlete. I certainly cried when he finally won Worlds as we felt like we shared a little of his pain and frustration over the years...
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: That's a thoughtful point. Yeah it is very debatable where that balance is for an athlete in their public life vs training/competition obligations. Peaty is super relatable, and surely a personality that is relatable and rides well garners a lot of fans. I would definitely want to hang in the pub with him. Surely sponsors, to some degree, want their athletes to have a lot of fans for their bottom line. I don't envy pro athletes these days in that sense; I would have a hard time staying authentic to myself but still be there for fans. Our MTB "celebrities" don't even have that much scrutiny when compared to other pro sports.
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: My guess is that athletes will increasingly rely on people they trust to help tell their story in the future. Many successful "vloggers" have hired crews to shoot and edit their content. While athletes will naturally maintain some editorial control, they will also allow some uncomfortable (vulnerable) moments to become public because they trust their media people to tell a good story (and increase their popularity as a result).

In addition, society's expectations of vulnerability will change over time. For example, athletes openly discussing mental health issues have become more common with Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Naomi Osaka and others. Their admissions have become perceived as empowering to many while in the past they would more likely be perceived as "weak".

I'm not sure how much editorial control Gwin had over the YT team videos he was in. I suspect that the impactful Pinkbike Racing Ft. William Video had less to do with Cathro's direction and more to do with the vision of other people behind the camera than most think. Maybe you could ask him?
  • 13 0
 Europeans didn’t like AG because he showed up, WHOOPED THAT ASS, then said “ya that’s what up” and that was it. He took your party and he crushed it. Turned downhill into a REAL sport. Not just a bunch of dude racing on talent and hangovers.

Judge someone until they do or say something you agree with, the defend them. Shit piece.
  • 12 0
 The title is misleading, it implies the article is about Aaron Gwin when it's actually about the writer and his personal biases.

"the weekend he came flying down Leogang with no tire on his rear wheel, the weekend when he won without a chain, the great winning streaks, and the five overall titles… as a racing fan, impressive as it all was, I have to admit that it did nothing for me."

If seeing Gwin's race run without a chain "did nothing" for the writer, I would suggest his problem hasn't been Aaron Gwin all along.
  • 12 1
 "His whole approach to racing was very… American. It felt like it was all about success, winning, and money..." The entire goal in professional sports is winning and success. Professional athletes may be "fun", "good", etc. but unless they have success and results they will quickly cease to be a professional athlete and the money and support will go to folks that get the results. It is a hard business the competition to be at the top is fierce.
  • 4 0
 I remember having to write a certain number of articles per month for Pinkbike. I didn’t realize something like this would count. What a complete waste of time.
  • 11 0
 I was in same boat with Michael Schumacher in F1 back in the day. The public figure of him winning all the time and seemed cocky on tv. I hated the guy from the media vision that was fed to us. Then I met him in person at the track on a Moto track day. And he was so humble and easy to approach. He was learning Moto after retiring from F1, he paid his registration and was hanging on the parking lot like everyone else. I hated myself for letting media giving me the wrong image.
  • 1 1
 That’s a lovely story, would love to have met that guy… I would like to ask you about that last sentence. I would suggest that, especially in the modern world, athletes have greater control than ever over their public images, more options to decide how they wish to be seen, and arguably the most important part of their job is how they connect with fans - so is it not something they should be actively involved with? Sure, some media may take a position, but usually we find ourselves reporting on what is presented to us…
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: a agree. It is very different now. This was before social media. I believe now it is part of the job for an athlete to be interactive with social media stuff. However, it s also easier to fake a personality trait through those also.
  • 1 0
 I believe this was in 2007 or 2008. Circuit de bresse in France. He was living in Switzerland at the time, and this track was a short drive for him. His kid was playing on the go kart track in between his sessions.
  • 10 0
 I think anybody who's met the man knows that he's always been super humble and relatable from the beginning, he just didn't necessarily show it in interviews and in videos. The vid series they did with YT while he was racing for them started to change that - he started putting more of his personality out there. But if you ever met him in person you'd know he's always got time for fans and truly loves the sport. A handful of years ago some buds and I went to the US Open at Mt. Creek and ended up chilling in the pool / hot tub with Gwin and Neko one evening and they were both nothing but class.
  • 11 1
 The one thing I can take from this article is that one's own bias greatly influences your view of another person. Decline, Spomer and a few others gave us advance notice that this quiet, humble dude in a flannel showed up to ride the US attempt at doing a "DirtMag 1:04 Track" and was cooking the pros. I distinctly remember them saying "look out for this dude".

I've always thought of him as quiet and just competitive as hell, not arrogant. I grew up with moto guys and a lot are solo cats by nature with demons they work out through the bikes. Gwin seemed the same. A West Coast Todd Bennick
. Perfectly happy to have his head down and avoid the limelight.

The image the public portrayed solely came from him realizing the value of a US rider at the peak of World Cup living in the mecca of US mountain bike manufacturers....SoCal. There have been other World Cup phenoms who parlayed wins into cash, but none of it was made public like Gwin's. Peaty. Palmer. Gracia. Lopes. Schley. They ALL CASHED IN WHEN THEY COULD.

But Gwin sat in the gold mine of advertising for mountain biking and it all worked out. I've only ever met two really huge a*sholes in downhill.

One was Lopes. The other was Palmer. I'm glad both cashed in on this sport. Also glad to have partied with Napalm for a few brief hours before his guys got him to leave the bar. Beer
  • 3 3
 @blowmyfuse Nico Vouilloz another a*sholes in downhill
  • 1 0
 @Assesin: I met the guy. Pretty sure I looked homeless at the time. Was really nice to everyone nearby. We were at a NORBA National in Deer Valley. Even talked to spectators and us other racers course side during practice.

I'm also a bigger a-hole, so it's harder for me to spot.
  • 2 1
 @Assesin: You see, I know Nico pretty well and he is such a lovely guy, takes time for everyone, he has helped so many local kids over the years (not least of all Bruni, Vergier, etc), he does a lot of trail building...
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: Exact impression I got at Deer Valley in my interactions with him. Beer

Further proof that we paint our own picture of athletes without first hand interactions.
  • 12 0
 He rode a bike on a DH course and finished without a chain, he finished a ride without a rear tire, and this is a problem? Sorry, not in my world.
  • 11 1
 AG hasn't f*cking changed at all. The bike media has decided to not paint him in the same way they used to because Bro culture isn't the only thing going for biking anymore. Currently it's "cool" to be fit and an actual Athlete in this sport and with that media has stopped painting him as the uncool guy because of the huge shift in our sport...
This feels more like a coming out as a "grown up" than an opinion piece about an athlete's journey as a pro.
  • 14 0
 Wait, people actually watch RuPaul's Drag Race?
  • 1 10
flag mattwragg (Jul 26, 2022 at 23:36) (Below Threshold)
 Apparently so, yes.
  • 1 8
flag bman33 (Jul 27, 2022 at 5:56) (Below Threshold)
 Funny enough, Drag at that level is ruthless...and actually takes some talent and practice. Big Grin
  • 11 2
 @mattwragg I think you need to reread this article and think about how it highlights everything about your unfounded prejudices, and nothing about Gwin himself. What did he ever do that had you 'geefully' awaiting non-existent stories about how he treated people like dirt? The fact that you once heard another baseless rumour that he'd prefer to be racing MX?

Gwin never needed to change for you to like him more, YOU needed to change.
  • 8 0
 Gwin is fairly low key, not shy but not overly talkative. I would run into him a lot in SoCal. He always rode with a buddy. I remember the first time I ran into him at the top of a trail. I joked with my buddies that we should go first because these 2(Gwin and friend) looked like they may slow us up. Gwin's buddy laughed as all my friends did. Gwin didn't, he turned to me kind of serious and as he noticed my belly, advanced age and ebike, he joined in on the laugh. Anyways, he has always been cool the 20 times or so that I ran into him. He let my buddy use his pump and is just generally a nice guy. I could never see him being full of himself or treating anyone with disrespect. The guy is a competitor and if you want to race, he is obviously able and ready. I root for the guy because he has earned the respect and admiration of the Mountain biking worldSmile
  • 10 2
 Wraggs opinion pieces are slowly going off the deep end. They weren't very good to begin with, now they're awkward af and revealing more personal weirdness than I care to read about. Let's go back to reviewing overpriced bikes and riding bikes very quickly and that's it. Please...
  • 7 0
 Pro racers are both blessed and cursed to do what they love for a living. If you choose to race bikes for a living, isn't earning a living in the process pretty damn important? Maybe now that he's financially comfortable, he can actually enjoy racing more? He can do it for the love and not the paycheck. I used to think he came off as arrogant when he was so dominant. However, looking back I think he was just hyper focused. Now he comes across as an approachable and relaxed guy with realistic expectations. At the end of the day, birthdays have a way of changing of all us. I'll be pulling for him on home turf this coming weekend.
  • 7 0
 Gwin could have sailed off into the sunset by now, he has enough money and investments to not have to race another minute. He's still around because he obviously wants to be, and he's showing everyone he's still got it. I'll never forget learning about Gwin in one of the old Yeti videos, when he was teammates with Blenki and Leov. His first WC race, at MSA after picking up a mountain bike for the first time less than a year prior. Dude throws a bar hump in his race run into 10th place, at the fucking MSA WC. I've been a fan ever since.
  • 13 2
 Rupaul's Drag Race and Pinkbike... my worlds collided
  • 14 3
 RuPaul and Cycling really do not belong in the same sentence. LMAO
  • 4 6
 you don't belong on pinkbike. LMAO
  • 7 2
 “RuPaul” and “Cycling” never appear in the same sentence in this article. They do however appear in the same sentence in your comment.
  • 5 2
 @ct0413: If you are going to be a bottom, be a power bottom. Work it!
  • 2 7
flag mattwragg (Jul 26, 2022 at 22:50) (Below Threshold)
 Why not?
  • 2 6
flag mattwragg (Jul 26, 2022 at 23:36) (Below Threshold)
 @Simann: Ha, saw your power bottom comment later. Wink But, genuinely, I think anybody who has a public facing job, like an athlete or even journalist, can learn a lot from Ru.
  • 7 0
 If Matt Wragg want to make true opinion valid thing,being in the position he is,Pinkbike editor,just talk to Gwin about this then take all the info and made an opinion. Take your previous opinion,talk with Gwin and expose yourself and the subject,then formulate an opinion. This article is pure non sense opinion,it is the same in almost any sport or even public figure.
  • 6 0
 Can’t say I’m not pulling for Gwin, I think I’m like most in that we were mad/hating on him for not winning. It’s easy to think it’s as simple as training but there’s usually a lot more going on. Fact is I would love see him pull it out at Snowshoe, maybe because I’ll be thereSmile
  • 6 0
 Well this was a different piece.

Hoping for the best of Gwin, definitely pulling for the guy. Not sure if Andorra was a fluke due to the SoCal like conditions or not.

Gwin made one huge miscalculation that I can see in his career/ marketability: he should have leveraged those wins in to a MASSIVE Utube following before so many others already had done so. He's doing a nice job of it now, but a few years earlier would have had a totally different outcome.

The other thing I will say, having followed many professional athletes, particularly of the 2 wheeled variety, is that they are always trying their very hardest and this never changes. However they all go up in their results when they are young, then they begin the slow slide back down the results sheets. Often with injuries from trying too hard finishing them off for good. It's just the nature of the beast. If Gwin can be the athlete that breaks this oft repeated pattern, well he will have cemented his position as the modern era GOAT.

GL Aaron Gwin! We'll be pulling for ya.
  • 1 0
 He put out a series of videos on YouTube this winter. The actual content was great but the audio, style, production quality etc were a bit 5 years ago.
I fear he’s missed the boat there.
  • 12 6
 Your piece is straight trash. Easy to write and profile a guy you don’t even know. You should worry about your own writing and leave the real riding to the professionals. He doesn’t need any of RuPaul’s advice his own advice has put him in the position he’s in. Nobody cares about your opinion.
  • 7 1
 So you made assumptions and judgements on someone you did not know, based on what you saw on TV, and now like what you see based on his failures and a friend's story about him. Sounds like you shouldn't be giving him advice and should maybe focus on your own deficiencies.
  • 6 1
 "He seemed happy to bag a podium spot at Vallnord last time out, while in the past anything less than outright domination looked like a defeat."

I would argue that this is more of a perspective/expectation from the fans over the years than what was actually the way Gwin thought. I rode with Gwin many times back in the day around Temecula and there were countless times that he expressed the public pressure for him to win and win big - not sustainable, not realistic, and it weighs on him for sure. For me, Gwin has always been real and genuine based on my interactions with him. He may not have chosen to show vulnerability on social media and in post-race interviews in exchange for likes and fandom, but that was his approach to racing - a pure, professional racer. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.
  • 10 4
 You almost lost me at the beginning. Money, success, and winning? Yeah bro wtf do you race for? For fun? That’s what losers say to justify their poor performance, all true racers race to win!!
  • 4 0
 We have a saying for this. "Sucks to suck." Lol
  • 8 0
 Ask any racer, any real racer. It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile; winning's winning.
  • 5 0
 Seeing that nowadays in DH world cup, he should be considered one of the 'elderly riders' - maybe some respect should be put first?

I've learned more from his bike set-up video's and exercise/technique tutorials then of most out there that already existed. Just listening to his narrative you can see how down to earth this guy is. I'm not sure why people should have a problem with him?

Looking back at what happened when he got passed for the 1st place in Andorra, you can see that he is there to (G)win - I hope he gets one soon.
  • 5 0
 I ran into Aaron at the local trails several times, he has always been friendly and respectful to others never giving the impression he was above others. I saw him work with young talented riders to help them improve their skills. Nothing bad to say at all.
  • 8 2
 So…. The french don’t like confidence or maybe the pursuit of perfection. Seems to me this guy is just a hater of one of the GOATS. To me this says: i like this guy because he’s struggling, which I relate to…
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: You do realize Matt Wragg is British not French right?
  • 8 0
 Aaron Gwin obviously is gonna be the story of this weekend so why not make post about him for some clicks
  • 5 0
 ^^ this guy gets it.
  • 6 1
 Two things.

1) Gwin is a highly focused individual. He seems very wise and careful with his time. I think he has been misunderstood and many people were glad to find/create a narrative about him. His humbly finding his way back to the podium is, in my opinion, one of the best things to happen this season.

2) If you've met one American, you've met one American. We are an incredibly diverse people. But, if you are the kind of person who cherry picks news and info to reinforce your own view, what can we do?
  • 5 0
 Yawn……Gwin has a run of bad luck like a lot a racers in any discipline do over a long career, Gwin is making a push for success once again and this rag decides to write an article throwing barbs veiled as “true inner conflict”.

Horribly played Pinkbike. Gwin sent 1000’s of views, reads, and clicks to your site over the years. You sell and admittedly viewership, clicks, and reads are dropping off because of many reasons over recent years and let’s get some hits back boys. Looks like this rag is trying to get back on the podium to me too. I’ve always disliked Pinkbike as a racer but I have heard a good story once about one of their writers..
  • 5 0
 Wondered if an article like this would ever be written. Coolest part about AG, is in reality no one knows him that well, besides maybe his wife. He's unique, He's just AG. I'm fairly confident he doesn't care what anyone thinks about him either. Learned lots from this kid, he'll be just fine! I think he's got a great shot at being called the GOAT someday.
  • 6 0
 The nerve of a man who would dare to try to make a living doing what he does to make a living! All racers should be risking their lives for nothing more than the glory of riding expensive bicycles very quickly.
  • 7 1
 Putting "Opinion" in the title doesn't hide the fact that this is a garbage article poorly written with very little substance to prove any point. But major props for finding a way to let everyone know you like drag queens.
  • 4 0
 Not to mention he wasn't an over night success by any means. 5 time champ isnt something by luck to bring years of that consistency in this sport speaks for itself... Numerous teams and lofty deals hes dealt with it cough cough YT etc and at the end of the day still holds himself as a professional.
  • 6 0
 Funny but the author still does not know Aaron Gwin, from his opinion of Gwen to a story his mate told, he still does not know Gwen, what a dumb arse story.
  • 4 0
 A.G. Is totally humble in my opinion. He was humbled publicly (eventually) by a lack of his usual success. He's shown grit. You could have never demanded he be humble before because you cant be THAT good, and pretend that you don't deserve it. Its got to be genuine, and I get a real genuine vibe from the man (without meeting him). Come to Queenstown mate !
  • 5 1
 I think it's a difference of cultures at play here. When I listen to Gwin talk for an interview after a few minutes I can't help but think the guy is a giant douche. But if I keep listening to him for another 5 minutes he starts to sound like a genius.
  • 7 0
 This is a bizarre opinion piece for sure. How did we conclude with RuPaul again? yeesh.....
  • 7 0
 I think this is actually the most comments in agreement I've seen on PB in a long time. Congrats @mattwragg
  • 9 1
 @mattwragg wow, this piece says way more about you than Gwin.
  • 5 1
 Author: How do I add something woke/virtue signaling to this profound message? Reference RuPaul, that's it!

Last I checked, Aaron Gwin was a Christian, so it's an interesting take, to ask him to reflect on an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race. I'm curious to see why he went that route, seeing as he must know a bit about the athlete's background. It's almost as if this horrible journalism is trying to bait a bigger conversation.
  • 4 1
 Look at the pic from Sunday of gwin placing 2nd at nationals behind dak. You think he would have ever smiled like that getting second in any race before? He's happier now both with intense and with dak as his teammate and friend. Its a clear difference.
  • 3 0
 I see what the article was trying to do. I think you need to elucidate on what it was about Gwin in his prime really bothered you as well as connect the dots on what vulnerability has done not only for his public perception but his current form. An interview with him about some of this would be intriguing, maybe Gwin himself has felt personal growth in the last 10-15 years and could shine a light on this. I know I’m nothing like what I was in my early-mid 20s and enjoy reflecting on what jas changed and how that has changed me. Judging from some of Gwin’s social media vids he’s gone through a similar process.
  • 3 0
 I was pretty sour on gwin also. But i think opening up with the vlog has swayed my views. Im excited to see him do good now. Same feeling i had on the martins before the JM6 and troll train vlogs. Its good to see they are normal people, well mostly normal haha
  • 6 0
 This is a stupid weird PR articule trying to put Gwin in the media radar to take advantage from podium momentum. Lame
  • 7 0
 yo wut did i just read???
  • 3 0
 Gwin changed the game of DH, much like Tiger Woods did with the game of golf. He trained hard and came prepared to win. I don't understand the issue. He forced other competitors to do the same and helped evolved the sport to what we see today. Almost every sport has a evolutionary athlete that changes the sport for the better. I
  • 5 2
 There's so much I could say, but it looks like the logical humans adding comments have pretty much covered it. The bigger questions are as followed:
1. This Matt Wragg honestly felt this way towards a person, in essence judging a book by its cover.
2. He wrote this for click bait knowing many if not most would call him out on his egotistical and shallow thoughts on another person. Thoughts on a person trying to perform at the highest of their abilities at a sport where bodily damage is always a real possibility.

In either case it does not bode well for Matt's purpose for his arrogant judgement. Maybe this is an arrogant judgment of Matt on my part, if so I'll own it where he has or will not own it.

To end I'll just share a little personally opinion on those who race downhill at a highly competitive level. I knew two guys who came through a shop I managed back in the day. Yes they were arrogant, full of themselves, brash and larger than life. They were highly competitive and loved the rewards when they performed well. The highs were high and the lows were low. During their racing seasons they fought through injury, mechanicals that costs them a podium spot, loosing sponsors, personal turmoil, etc. You know stuff life throws at one who is laser focused with their goals. To reach lofty goals is not easy if you have done anything competitive in your life would know this.

As they aged and got older they raced to just be competitive and remain a force to contend with. It's called growing up, knowing yourself, maturing and being a normal human under those circumstances. Matt a word of advice, maybe you should do some of the same.
  • 9 3
 Gwin be like: "knock, knock, knockin' on Amaury's door."
  • 2 0
 Gwin has a different image of Heaven. Just sayin'
  • 7 2
 Tell me you judge someone without knowing him without telling me you judge someone without knowing him, Matt will go first.
  • 5 5
 You have zero opinions of every single person that you've never met? Even (insert any politician, musician, kardacian?)
  • 4 0
 "His whole approach to racing was very… American. It felt like it was all about success, winning, and money".

Wow. PinkBike getting real.
  • 2 0
 Gwin seems like he's got his confidence back, the bike seems to be working well, I guarantee there isn't a single racer in the field writing him off now. multiple mistakes in Andorra and still podiumed. 2 out of the next 4 remaining venues he has produced absolutely legendary runs. Go Gwinner!
  • 2 0
 I actually had a similar opinion of Gwin. For sure he was dominating the dh world and i loved it. But his personality in interviews seemed very dry and responses seemed canned. Like what you get from a lot of professional athletes. So i enjoyed his victories, but less so the post interviews. It did seem like he was just about the business and didnt want to share his personal life. Which is understandable. He just seemed disconnected and it just made it hard to buy into his “brand”. He did a track preview with Claudio one year and it was awesome to see him doing manuals and whatnot. Made me want to see more of his personality. Ive really enjoyed his Going for 6 series on YouTube this year. As well as his instructional stuff he did prior. We get to see more of who he is.
  • 7 1
 This story tells me a lot more about the writer than Gwin...
  • 2 0
 Don't mind the author having and changing his opinion. Do mind the preachy title. The story was about the author's change of outsourcing, but the title suggests that Gwin needs to be more vulnerable. We can have opinions, but we don't really have a right to someone's inner thoughts and personal struggles. If they choose to share, good on 'em, but in this day and age it may just be persona work anyway.
  • 1 0
 Opinion* not outsourcing
  • 6 1
 This piece may not be a raving success, but I applaud taking risk to produce uncommon work. Forge on, Matt and ed staff.
  • 2 0
 He might have had better success with this story if it had been more developed. As it is, it barely qualifies as a "piece".
  • 1 0
 @smokingtires: I don't disagree with your opinion, but there's usually a word count target or range not set by the contributor. Not to mention editors and any other lackey up the command chain that asserts his "sensibilities" on the creative. So maybe it's as much they as he.
  • 1 0
 @rider001: Yeah that's possible....hadn't occurred to me.
  • 2 0
 I think there are some American people in here that have read this OPINION with a degree of cynicism that was totally unnecessary. As of late I find myself warming up to Gwin too. I think objectively he's come across as cold in the past. I got the same vibe from Gee when he was at the top. It was easy for me to feel that way when Chainsaw was the kindest person in the world and kicking all kinds of ass. It's an observation piece, friends. Not a damning permanent record.
  • 4 0
 I don’t understand the “I don’t like him because we takes his job serious and works hard at training and testing to win” attitude at all.
  • 2 0
 I'm sorry I don't mean to pick on the author but this article really bothers me. AG is a complete ripper. It is codependent and selfish to need your athletic role models to validate your personality. Anyone who wins a WC race without a chain is an artist, and a lot of us can learn from somebody who is capable of that and so many more accolades.

Sure, maybe Gwin doesn't fit the typical MTB personality, but who f***in cares? He isn't like us, and this is a diverse and growing sport. Gwin pioneered an approach of focus and professionalism that was rarer in his prime. Guess what? All WC racers and then some exemplify this same professional approach now. Gwin has recently moved to my locale and he is appreciated by the MTB community here. This author doesn't know him well and it is disappointing to read a piece based on such loose speculation. Again, not to pick on the author, but looking at this comments section, he seems to have rubbed a lot of AG supporters the wrong way, and it wasn't necessary.
  • 2 0
 As a comparison which i think has quite a few parallels to Gwin i would like to mention the 15 times german downhill champion and two times worldcup winner Markus Klausmann.
Like Gwin, albeit on a smaller scale, he dominated the (german) scene for years. He also was always extremely professional in his approach to racing during a time when almost all competitors used to smoke weed and get drunk and party the night before a race. Just like Gwin, he got a certain amount of respect from his peers, but he also had a reputation not much unlike what the author portraits about Gwin. Being a bit of a snob, uptight, only in it for the money, not passionate etc was what most people thought about him.
I only ever experienced him as very professional, methodic and approachable in person though.
Funny enough that kinda changed once he started stepping back from racing, did more media work, started his own bike business etc. People apparently started liking the person behind the racer a lot more.
I think these kinds of hyper focused people are easily misunderstood, especially in a scene where professionalism isn´t encouraged that much, be it through monetary incentives in the form of sponsoring or the general approach the majority of riders have towards their sport, wanting to keep it more casual in general.
Hence why people like Peaty or Sam Hill become these larger than life idols. They go about their business much more nonchalantly, while simply raking in wins as a byproduct of being extremely talented.
The guy who has to put in a lot of effort and is not willing to hide it behind a mask of coolness will inevitably draw the resentment of his peers to some extent and be judged as a tryhard, whereas people tend to admire raw talent. It´s also the reason us europeans tend to not buy into something like the Gwin narrative as much. As the author says, it´s very american. Hard work and dedication is something europeans tend to be proud of, but do not like to wear on their chest. In american culture it´s encouraged to present your struggle and be rewarded with respect for doing so.
In conclusion, i think the difference in culture is one aspect, while the other is the simple fact that he was always trying to be himself, the professional Aaron Gwin. It´s not that people needed to see vulnerability, it´s just that people tend to naturally gravitate towards raw talent much more than towards work ethic. Removing the winning aspect from the tryhard equation is what brought people´s perception of him down to earth.
  • 19 18
 SHIT OPINION PIECE. What was even the point of writing and publishing this ? I found Aaron to be a genuine humble person from the beginning of his career. He was bit of an introvert and appeared to be standoffish and aloof. Which I believe turned a lot of people off. Along with that, he took his job seriously during a time when DH racing had a party atmosphere surrounding it. It is my opinion that he brought a level of professionalism and athleticism that the sport had not seen before. He upped the ante and forced other athletes to level up.
  • 22 15
 I don't think your opinion of Gwin is really that much different than Matt's, it just took him a little longer to arrive at a similar conclusion. Saying it's a 'shit' opinion piece doesn't really accomplish much - it's way more effective to explain why you disagree rather than just shouting about how it doesn't exactly match your feelings. That's the great thing about opinions - we all get to have them, and we all don't need to agree.
  • 19 11
 @mikekazimer: No, it's clickbait shit.
  • 17 9
 @ghill28, well, that's just your opinion. Smile For real though, clickbait means that the content was different than what you expected - the title of this one seems pretty accurate.
  • 4 1
 I've always been a Gwin fan but any article about him seemed to attract a certain group who hated on him for no reason. When asked why they would just say something like "he's a loser who sucks". I never understood that since I hadn't seen that happen to any other riders (maybe Richie Rude but he did have sketchy behavior which makes more sense). I kinda started wondering if I was seeing something that wasn't there. I think this article was valuable in understanding that mindset. I'm glad Matt has changed his opinion. I'm stoked for Gwin this weekend!
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer Aaron Gwin is lucky to not read Pinkbike :-) :-)
  • 5 2
 @Assesin: I imagine he comes to the comment section to check on bike setup.
  • 4 10
flag dualsuspensiondave (Jul 26, 2022 at 16:10) (Below Threshold)
 @DylanH93: That’s because if you follow his social media, on rare occasion he posts something political. Similar to some American moto guys over the years. Certainly not popular political opinions amongst most cultured individuals.
  • 7 0
 @DylanH93: Ah but the reason of that which you don't understand is spiritual. Gwin is and has been a Man of God; therefore to walk with Him is to understand this-

"And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 10:22
  • 7 3
 @dualsuspensiondave: I agree with his political postings and so do millions of other people.
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer: Opinions are just like arseholes, everyone's got one, and half of the time they are full of sh!t.
  • 3 0
 Lighten up fan bio…Matt is rooting for Gwin.
  • 3 3
 @adamdigby: …and millions of people disagree
  • 2 8
flag dualsuspensiondave (Jul 26, 2022 at 20:16) (Below Threshold)
 @adamdigby: Like I said, not popular amongst most cultured individuals.
  • 5 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: I pretty much accept that literally everyone is going to have a different political opinion than me. Not liking someone for a difference in opinion isn't healthy.
  • 2 0
 @watchtower Jeff Steber maybe yes, he no.
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: Do or do not, there is no try. Yoda Movie 5.
  • 1 0
 "The ru really pauls the room together."
@mikekazimer: "well, that's just your opinion."
  • 10 5
 the hatred towards AG was born from the editors of pinkbike.
  • 8 3
 I'm unsure which editor at Pinkbike hated Gwin. Was it our WC photographer, Nathan Hughes, who actually worked for him for a season and still calls him the "Gwizzard"? Or how about Colin Meagher and RC who put together what is maybe the most in-depth piece I have ever seen on the site? www.pinkbike.com/news/aaron-gwin--the-interview.html Or how about even myself, who wrote this when he left Trek: www.pinkbike.com/news/Aaron-Gwin-Karma-vs-Drama.html

Saying Pinkbike hated Gwin is simply untrue.
  • 5 2
 He seems to be a bloke people choose to dislike, Gee's in the same boat, I think they're both brilliant examples of professional racers.
  • 2 1
 Everyone forgets that winning and success are what give you the life all mountain bikers want… to ride their bike for a living. As someone from Southern California I saw gwin a lot at summit and mammoth and he’s always been nothing but humble and easy going. He gives everyone time and talks to whoever wants. Great guy and I find this article pointless and frankly a waste of pinkbike time
  • 1 0
 I feel the same way about Gwin… I also feel the same way about Lewis Hamilton and Tom Brady. It’s easy for me not be a fan of dominant sports figures who are obsessed with winning. But I often have to take a step back and prevent myself from making them into villains because I don’t like to pull for dominant athletes. Gwin seems like a good guy, and I definitely believe he raised the level of World Cup racing. Maybe you don’t agree with or like that last point, but I actually believe that whatever brought World Cup downhill to the level it’s at now led to significant rapid improvements to bikes that I enjoy as much as I have time to do so.
  • 3 0
 When Gwin’s in the Snowshoe start hut my thoughts will be Ru Paul saying “dont f&@k it up” and if he podiums “can I get a amen”.
  • 9 5
 @mattwragg It might behoove you to take some writing/journalism classes. This is hot garbage.
  • 3 2
 I found this article just brillant and most comments missing the point. The piece is not about AG. It's about how your image can be different from who you really are and what can change that.
Actually, I feel exactly the same about AG. Great athlete, very professional but a cold, not fun public image... until now. I didn't really think much about him until a few months, when I first watched his tutorial videos on Youtube : lame editing, shit footage BUT brillant advice and technique (best cornering tutorial ever). And it all clicked : the guy is just nice, genuine, trying to do his best to change his public image. So I watched all his videos, and my new impressions were confirmed. An I started to gain interest again in the athlete, watched the Intense vids, and his vlogs after races, the struggles in the bike development, in qualifying, trying to climb the WC ladder again. And bit by bit, my admiration grew. AG's humble and committed attitude really struck me. And then Vallnord : I was super excited when he made the hot seat spot and super sad when Loris and Loïc passed him (although I am French).
I'll be in Les Gets for the World Champs and will be the only Frenchman cheering for AG on the sides. Imagine : AG winning chainless in a torrential Les Gets in the mud with Danny Hart second !!!
  • 1 0
 As a socal local I’ve met Gwin about 3-4 times out in the trail and every time he has been a pleasure! I was racing Fontana and was sessioning a line he came up and said well, what’s the best line? I was like!?!?! You tell me but he’s an awesome dude!
  • 5 1
 Absolute pointless waffle
  • 1 0
 What did I just read, it don’t make sense. Do we really know anything about these races person life or real personalities. Gwins a DH legend and I’m sure he’s a good guy like the most of us.
  • 1 0
 Joining the pile on here....PB has hosted a bunch of awesome Gwin content and he speaks pretty well for himself without needing an opinion piece projecting for him. Such a weird article.
  • 1 0
 Nice hit piece on Gwin. Loves racing loves God and loves his country. I guess those things do put a bullseye on you these days. Oh yeah and trying to make as much money possible for him and his future family… shame on him.
  • 2 0
 this is probably one of the reasons why Ben Cathro's 2022 race season has been so interesting
  • 3 1
 Seems that you need to take a deep dive into your inner being and see what it is you don't like about yourself.
  • 10 6
 Terrible opinion piece.
  • 2 1
 I think this story is about the author. It’s not about Gwin or even Pinot, because it seems the author doesn’t even know them.
  • 1 0
 He addresses pretty much exactly what was said in this article in this interview clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJLS6ynnzPc
  • 5 2
 What a worthless article.
  • 2 0
 Matt , where did that came from ? AAron proved results and assets as a competitor and athlete , you know that game ?
  • 7 5
 How in the world did this garbage article make it onto the front page? What a steaming pile of BS.
  • 3 4
 Man so much hate for Matt here. These are fun and interesting articles to read because they make you think. Whether you agree or not is sort of besides the point. I never loved gwin for the same reasons, but I certainly respected his results.
  • 1 0
 Just met him at winter park struck me as a regular guy who rides bikes. Chatted about small things he was humble and not bothered by a stranger asking questions.
  • 1 0
 Interesting article, it seems the writer may have more to learn from RuPaul than Gwin. I am a fan of both GOAT's in their fields of play.
  • 8 6
 My Opinion Piece: Pinkbike's opinion pieces are garb
  • 2 0
 Funny how easy it is to counter bigotry…
  • 4 6
 Sorry I'm still not a Gwin Fan, but we all have the right to follow our favorite racers and characters in the sport. Even doing the whole 6peat Baby campaign does smack of arrogance, all top 20 racers are striving to win. Even his F#×$ when he got knocked off the hot seat in the last race doesn't do a lot to help his public image. I think he is an intense, somewhat shy character, but he seldom seems to just do it for the fun and love of the sport. Sorry I'm still a Syndicate Fan, Greg Minnaar winning the world Champs last year was I highlight. I love the fun rivalry between Minnaar and Bruni especially the way they banter, guess Gwin is just not that kind of guy. Hope Gwin continues to compete at the top, but afraid we all have the right to choose our favorite riders. Our sport is big enough for big characters like Danny Hart, Bernard Kerr and all the franchise.....
  • 2 0
 Basically he does better PR now.
  • 2 0
 Story generated by a bot.
  • 23 22
 I'm sure Gwin will be stoked to be compared to a drag queen.
  • 21 5
 He most definitely was not compared to a drag queen. There was an analogy pulled from a drag queen's advice on their show.
  • 5 4
 Learn to read
  • 3 2
 @Saucycheese: eDuCaTe YuRseLF
  • 4 4
 @ghill28: Are you having a stroke or just attempting a weak comeback? Let me know when you've reread the article and point out exactly where Gwin is compared to a drag queen. Also, it's 2022, your antihomophobic opinion is getting old. Work on some new material
  • 3 3
 @Saucycheese: I don't think I'll be putting any additional effort into strangers from the internet, thanks.
  • 4 3
 @ghill28: You wanted attention and now you don't? Tsk tsk tsk back to 4chan you go
  • 1 0
 TIL thor makes bike stuff now
  • 3 1
 TIL Gwin isn't actually sponsored by "THOT", as his jersey logo seems to suggest.
  • 3 0
 @L0rdTom: Every. Single. Time. I always see it as THOT and then a second later I remember it's Thor. Bad design choice... or the best design choice?
  • 9 8
 I really enjoyed the concise read. Well put Matt!
  • 11 13
 I hate him for an entirely different reason. His religious beliefs--though apparently sincerely held and personally meaningful to him--differ from my own beliefs. That's not OK.
  • 11 3
 how dare someone be allowed to hold different beliefs...it's almost like...like...people everywhere in general.
  • 8 0
 It should be illegal to hold different beliefs than mine. Unforgiveable!
  • 6 1
 @DylanH93: Exactly. You get it.
  • 5 0
 @stalkinghorse: sarcasm never works on this site
  • 2 0
 @preach: username checks out
  • 1 3
 Someone realized he needs to make people like him so his celebrity carries on past when he’s winning races.

Be nice to the the right media people and then this shows up on the homepage.
  • 8 10
 My wife made this when I shared the article to her; shes really proud of herself.


  • 12 2
 Reddit is down the hall and to the left.
  • 7 0
 @hessiannate: haha, that was mean. I thought it was pretty good picture.
  • 5 0
 That made me laugh…Gwesus
  • 14 15
 Weird article. Stranger opinion. How do I thumbs down this fake news article?
  • 9 7
 Couldn't agree more, let me help. Thumbs down this comment to let Matt know how odd of an article this is and that there shouldn't be another. Nobody cares that you didn't like a guy that was handsome, successful, fast, and humble. That's for your therapist to figure out.
  • 3 9
flag dualsuspensiondave (Jul 26, 2022 at 16:06) (Below Threshold)
 I sense Tucker Carlson and cancel culture on your comments
  • 3 3
 Gwin is the new Gee.
  • 5 5
 Please, no more.
  • 5 6
 Random butt hurt comment from a fake U.S. “nationalist”.
  • 7 7
 The author is a nerd.
  • 11 0
 Is that an insult or a compliment?
  • 1 1
 @mattwragg: do you feel insulted or complimented?
  • 2 0
 @Muchogusto: Neither, to be honest, I was just curious as to your intention.
  • 2 2
 @mattwragg: I’d imagine that Gwin would have a similar response to your article.
  • 7 10
 Author is a tool. Reminds me of a unprofessional email written in haste showing the inner thinkings of said tool. Who gave this article the green light??
  • 8 9
 @mattwragg - this is a quality bit of writing. keep it up.
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