Davis Phinney, a true American hero

davis phinney parkinson

Davis Phinney (above, left, with his wife Connie Carpenter) is a true American hero.

He’s one of the most successful competitive cyclists in U.S. history.

And he’s also the man behind the Davis Phinney Foundation, which strives “to help people living with Parkinson’s to live well today.”

From the Davis Phinney Foundation website:

In 1993, after almost 20 years of nearly unprecedented success as a cyclist, Davis retired from pro cycling. His last professional win set yet another record that is still unbroken; he finished the legendary “Hotter Than Hell 100″ in Texas in an amazing 3hrs. 23 minutes. To this day, no one has ridden faster.

After his retirement from cycling, Davis’ career continued as a well-known sportscaster for ABC, CBS, NBC and OLN. In 2000, after years of feeling not quite right, and an almost endless round of tests, Davis was diagnosed with Young-onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD). Finally, the years of battling constant fatigue, the mental fogginess, the muscle cramping and bouts of sudden numbing weakness had a name.

Shortly after his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Davis, his wife (Olympic medalist Connie Carpenter) and their two children moved to Italy, in part to adjust to the disease and in part because many of their Bike Camps were based in Italy. While living in Italy, Davis was contacted by a former Bike Camp client Kathleen Krumme who asked Davis to lend his name to her ride in Cincinnati to benefit PD. And from those beginnings, the Davis Phinney Foundation was born.

Realizing that there are ways to improve the quality of his day to day living, Davis started the Davis Phinney Foundation as a way to promote and fund innovative research that demonstrates the effects and importance of exercise, speech and other elements that are critical to quality of life. In 2008, Davis underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery to control his Parkinson’s symptoms.

Today, Davis lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife of 25 years, Connie Carpenter-Phinney, and their children Taylor and Kelsey. Davis continues to celebrate the daily victories in his life and inspires others with his message of optimism and encouragement.

The Davis Phinney Foundation is one of the Boulder Burgundy Festival’s official causes.

Proceeds from select festival events will be donated to the foundation and the event organizers hope to raise awareness of its mission through the festival’s social media campaign. Thanks for being here and for letting us share Davis’ story.

Image via HeyDay Creative.