In a sport where the difference between winning a gold or silver medal could come down to a tenth of a second, world-class cyclists are constantly looking for an edge. While most of the refinements in the sport have been seen in high-performance training methods, advanced cycle designs and aerodynamic racing gear, U.S. Olympic Team cyclist Shelly Olds of Groton, Mass., has added one more secret weapon to her arsenal.
Olds, a member of the four-woman U.S. road racing team, told ESPN.com that she wears special jewelry every time she competes and that a collection of her powerful baubles will be around her neck, in her jersey pocket and adorning her wrist when she goes for the gold at the upcoming Olympic Games in London on July 29.
"When I am racing, I wear a small mineral necklace close to my heart and lungs that gives me strength and energy," she said. "I also carry a stone in my back jersey pocket that I believe protects me and keeps all bad energy behind and away from me."
Olds, 31, added that during the Olympic Games road race, she'll be wearing a red, white and blue crystal bracelet – a bracelet that generates a source of strength and represents her national pride.
Specifically, the red carnelian is believed to be the stone of confidence, protection and courage, while white agate is said to be the stone of warriors, bringing power, good luck and healing energy. Olds believes that blue sodalite enhances endurance, inner peace and focus.