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    Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith

Real Athlete: Cyclist Jeffrey Smith

By RealJock Staff

Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.

We saw Jeffrey Smith several times at the Gay Games, but never on his bike. That's because he wasn't competing; the 35-year-old San Francisco-based cyclist came to Gay Games exclusively to watch the Games and support his friends, which right away told us he was the kind of real jock we'd want on our team—the good-friend kind, that is.

Smith has a great smile and a really positive demeanor; he drew lots of admirable glances from the guys wherever we saw him, whether it was at the volleyball courts, water polo, or waiting for the Pink Flamingo party to start. Below, a brief interview with Mr. Smith of San Francisco:

So you're not here at the Games competing. Tell us why you're here?
I came to support my friends who are participating in the triathlon and in track and field. At home, I'm a cyclist—road bike—I do distance cycling.

When did you start participating in sports?
I was a shy child and stayed away from all sports until college. I discovered the gym in college, and took up running and cycling for awhile, but dropped both when I graduated. Then, at the age of 30, I rediscovered cycling when I signed up for the AIDS LifeCycle, a 585-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funding and awareness to fight HIV and AIDS. I found I was actually really good at it, and I have been a distance cyclist ever since. I have participated in four AIDS rides now, and plan on doing next year's event as well.

What's it like to be here as a gay athlete who is not competing?
After experience the Gay Games and seeing the camaraderie among the players, I regret my decision not to compete as well. However, I am having a fun time cheering on friends and strangers, and watching some exciting athletic competition.Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.

We saw Jeffrey Smith several times at the Gay Games, but never on his bike. That's because he wasn't competing; the 35-year-old San Francisco-based cyclist came to Gay Games exclusively to watch the Games and support his friends, which right away told us he was the kind of real jock we'd want on our team—the good-friend kind, that is.

Smith has a great smile and a really positive demeanor; he drew lots of admirable glances from the guys wherever we saw him, whether it was at the volleyball courts, water polo, or waiting for the Pink Flamingo party to start. Below, a brief interview with Mr. Smith of San Francisco:

So you're not here at the Games competing. Tell us why you're here?
I came to support my friends who are participating in the triathlon and in track and field. At home, I'm a cyclist—road bike—I do distance cycling.

When did you start participating in sports?
I was a shy child and stayed away from all sports until college. I discovered the gym in college, and took up running and cycling for awhile, but dropped both when I graduated. Then, at the age of 30, I rediscovered cycling when I signed up for the AIDS LifeCycle, a 585-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funding and awareness to fight HIV and AIDS. I found I was actually really good at it, and I have been a distance cyclist ever since. I have participated in four AIDS rides now, and plan on doing next year's event as well.

What's it like to be here as a gay athlete who is not competing?
After experience the Gay Games and seeing the camaraderie among the players, I regret my decision not to compete as well. However, I am having a fun time cheering on friends and strangers, and watching some exciting athletic competition.