I have learned not to approach the keirin unmedicated. Case In Point.
The above link is to a crash in the heat directly before Dean's heat.
Thus properly diazepated, I was able to endure the qualifying rounds, which Dean easily controlled, and even the crushing irony of the final in which he cruised to victory except for that bastard Steven Beardsley taking advantage of his final let-up in the home stretch to sneak around for the win.
Later in the day, Dean and his Colorado Springs posse joined forces for a sloppy but effective enough win in the Olympic Sprint (a sort of relay on wheels).
I'm sure Aaron Kacala understands by now that being on the podium with Dean often means being used as his ride down off the steps.
Sunday is sprint day. I committed to facing the day without pharmacological assistance, which lasted until the third round when I accepted a tall glass of banned sauvingon blanc with shaky hands.
As I write this, it is lunch break. After lunch, Dean competes in the final heats of the sprints. The least he can do now is fourth, which he would accept as a crushing defeat.
On Sunday after two days of announcing tongue twisting names from half a dozen countries and trying to keep the dullest 100-lap slog sounding entertaining, odd things can come out of the announcers' booth, like, "that's a big ask..." and, "something like thighs burning..."
The last event before the break was a ten-mile race, in which the bastard Steven Beardsley came in second. We happened to be sitting right behind the bastard Steven Beardsley's mom, who was so happy. Just goes to show. Even Steven Beardsley has a mom. (Actually Steven is a lovely young fellow, about the same age as Dean, with apple cheeks and tousled hair, not cut in a Serbo-hawk like some, less emotionally mature, twenty-three year-olds.)
Another ugly, crunching crash in the semi-final sprint heat directly before Dean's heat. Unfortunately, the victim of said crash was unable to continue due to the fact that the crash had aggravated a newly repaired hip that had been broken in a keirin some time ago. A pity, since he was the one Dean wanted to race the most - a highly decorated bit of legend in track circles.
I have a moment of panic, but I compose myself for the final sprint, which Dean seems to win without having to pull out any wacky voodoo moves.
The announcers are ecstatic to see Dean finally step on the top step of the sprint podium after so many years of being the pipsqueak upstart, eclipsed from his perch on the lower step by the winner's massive man-thighs.
Dean and his thighs atop the sprinter's podium at last, alongside Giovanni Rey and training partner (and winner of Most Awesome Uniform Design) Keyln Akuna
I am happy for him, and consider him the most excellent individual person yet assembled with earthly DNA.