In addition to being honored by the Jewish Hall of Fame, Nicole Freedman was a U.S. National Road Race Champion in 2000 and the U.S. National Criterium Champion in 2001. She was on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team and also raced on Israel’s National Team for several seasons.
-Nicole also has the distinction of being one of the only people to attend MIT and Stanford AND live in a van after graduation - until Nicole’s cycling career took off, she lived in a 1978 Ford Econoline van.
-Nicole retired in 2006 and took a job with an organization called Hub on Wheels, which promotes cycling in Boston.
-Nicole is a Gemini and likes long walks on the beach.
Oy Velo recently spoke with Nicole Freedman about her cycling career:
Oy Velo: Thank you very much for agreeing to speak with Oy Velo. A lot of visitors to the site have been asking for you.
Nicole Freedman: Really? No problem.
OV: So, do you still ride?
NF: I still love to ride and I get out there every once in a while, but not as much as I would like to, and nothing too serious. When I raced, I use to say I that I knew I was getting into shape when my leg warmers got tighter and my arm warmers got looser. Now when I ride I notice that my leg warmers are looser and my arm warmers are tighter. Not a good sign.
OV: Very funny, though I’m sure you’re exaggerating. By the way, do you know why the U.S. Jewish Sports Hall of Fame honored you instead of inducting you? What’s the difference?
NF: I don’t know, I didn’t realize there were tiers when they contacted me.
OV: Normally I would say they’re anti-semitic, but that’s probably not the case here. Oy Velo will get to the bottom of this.
NF: That’s really not necessary.
OV: Nonsense. Switching topics, how was the Olympics?
NF: It went great if you read the results backwards, I actually almost hit the podium.
OV: It’s nice to know that even Olympians criticize their accomplishments. Seriously, how was it?
NF: Great, it was in Sydney, which is an amazing place. The Olympics before that was in Atlanta, so I was lucky.
OV: Yes, I imagine driving to the Olympics just isn’t the same.
NF: Yeah, though the 23 hour flight wasn’t the best part of the trip.
OV: How did you like racing in Europe?
NF: It was fun and difficult, very competitive. I raced there a lot, but I didn’t live there.
OV: No? I would think that would be one of the best parts.
NF: Not really. It’s very isolating and the food is horrible.
OV: What did they feed you?
NF: Not sure, but it was always white. White rice, white bread. . . we would occasionally get a white fish of some sort, which was scary, but also the only source of protein so we ate it. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, I’m really glad I raced in Europe. However, I missed my friends, I didn’t know the language and we were constantly on the move. My dad use to say that I’ve been everywhere but seen nothing.
OV: Did you race the Spring Classics?
NF: Yes, but I don’t really remember it. I know this sounds crazy, but all I remember is sleet and layering double Gortex jackets.
OV: I’ve seen the footage, I’m sure you’re not the only one with memories like that.
OV: Okay, time for "Six Questions with Oy Velo."
1) What is the liquid in a jar of gefilte fish?
NF: I have no idea, but I wouldn’t drink it.
OV: It’s jelly made from fish broth, which actually sounds worse than it looks if that’s possible.
2) Better miracle, parting the red sea or a talking burning bush?
NF: Parting the Red Sea.
OV: Correct, I think that would be a good place for a time trial if it ever happens again.
3) Woody Allen or Mel Brooks?
NF: Woody Allen.
OV: Yes! Either answer was acceptable as long as you said it with enthusiasm, which you did.
4) Which is Kosher, geese or eagles?
NF: Umm (long pause)
OV: You’re not googling this I hope.
NF: No, just thinking. Eagles?
OV: Nope, Jews can eat geese but not eagles. Sounds patriotic at least.
5) What continent is Israel in?
NF: Asia. I was actually going to join an Asian American club in School.
OV: You're hilarious, and correct.
6) Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Stephen Breyer.
NF: Ginsburg I guess.
OV: Correct, nothing against Breyer, but we have to promote girl power. Mozel Tov, you got four out of six Stars of David.