Each month, Team USA Awards presented by Dow celebrates outstanding achievements of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Para-cyclist Ryan Boyle won Male Athlete of the Month for May 2019 after claiming a gold medal in the MT2 road race and a silver in the MT2 time trial at the world cup in Corridonia, Italy, the first UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup event of the season. A week later at the world cup in Ostend, Belgium, he raced to double gold in the MT2 road race and time trial. In Boyle’s Diamond Club feature, presented by Dow, he gives a peek into the daily life of a cyclist living at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Living, training and working at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is always an adventure for Para-cyclist Ryan Boyle, a Paralympic silver medalist and a two-time world champion.
“It’s all about prioritizing,” Boyle said of his busy schedule. “My first priority is being an athlete, and that’s where I give my all every day. After that, it’s about finding side projects and things that you’re passionate about to distract from sports so you don’t think about it 24/7, because that would drive you nuts.”
The 25-year-old grew up in Connecticut, where at the age of 10 he had to learn to how to breathe, swallow, talk, eat, stand, sit, walk again after suffering a traumatic brain injury from a big-wheel accident. He’s learned it all and more, becoming one of the world’s top Para-cyclists and dedicating his life to his sport with his move to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where the gym is a short walk away and the food is already prepared for him.
Para-cyclist Ryan Boyle celebrating after competing at the World Cup in Corridonia, Italy.
Here, he takes us through a day in his life.
7:30 a.m.: Time to wake up. I brush my teeth and all that before heading downstairs for breakfast.
7:45 a.m.: For breakfast in the dining hall, I usually have either scrambled eggs with ham and cheese or eggs over hard on an everything bagel. I’ll then finish breakfast and then leave some time to prepare to get on my bike.
9 a.m.: It’s time to hop on my stationary bike indoors — sometimes I’ll go bike outside though depending on the weather. I won’t share my exact training regimen on the bike in case my competition is reading this, but in a broader sense, I typically bike alone anywhere from one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours.
12 p.m.: After getting cleaned up, I head to lunch and usually go with some sort of fish or chicken. Tuesdays are the best because they have the pad Thai, my favorite meal.
1 p.m.: Time for work as a tour guide at the Training Center. Fortunately, it’s just two minutes away from the dining hall, so I don’t have much of a commute. I’ll typically lead two tours during my three-hour shift, and the best part about them is getting the chance to meet new people and share my story with them. They think my story is absolutely amazing, and they’re so grateful because it means the world to them if they get an actual athlete as a tour guide, because I can add in that extra sense of knowing this is my home where I train every day.
4 p.m.: I head back to my athlete dorm to relax, which usually means watching TV, playing video games or cracking open a book. Right now I’m really enjoying this book I’m reading called “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. As for my favorite show, I love “Stranger Things” and was really into that when it first came out.
6:30 p.m.: Time to grab dinner. My personal favorite dinner dish at the dining hall is the chicken quesadillas, but I’ll settle for any kind of chicken or fish. I always make sure to grab a lot of vegetables, too, so that I can have colorful plate. After dinner, I’ll relax some more and spend time on my hobbies. I’m an author, having written a book a number of years ago, and am now writing a second book about how I got into cycling and training and racing full-time. I’m also very passionate about cars, so I love reading about cars, playing car video games and watching racing.
10:30 p.m.: I try to get to bed around this time — a little later than my swimmer friends who have to wake up so early — but I do get quite a bit of sleep still.
Stuart Lieberman covered Paralympic sports for three years at the International Paralympic Committee, including at the 2012 and 2014 Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.