The following email was sent to Cycling South Africa by a Canadian watching the races in testimony to Gerhard’s approach to his profession. Gerhard had crashed 300m before the finish line on his road race while participating in Baie-Comeau Canada. His tricycle was damaged and he decided to run to the finish line, the email and photo reflect the feeling that was evoked among the spectators.
I know you are not the right person to write to, but you are the only email I could find from Cycling South Africa. Please read on. I’m from Baie-Comeau where the Para-cycling world championships were held mid-August.
I was at the finish line when the riders in the T2 category raced. I saw the South African Gerhard Viljoen missing a turn on his tricycle, warping a back wheel 300 meters from the finish line and, realising his bike race was over, decided to run, as best he could, to the finish line.
I’d like to transfer this message to Gerhard or to someone who can reach him: What I saw at the end of that race was the most moving moment I ever saw in sport. Your determination, your courage, your sportsmanship and your will to go a 100% touched my sisters and me so much that we cheered you up with tears in our eyes. Thank you for being there and for giving us a life lesson. We admire what you did and wish you the best for the future.
Jocelyn Pelletier Baie-Comeau, Quebec