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Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report
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Hello All,



https://patch.com/...eless-seattle-report

Excerpt:

SEATTLE, WA — A world champion cyclist and Olympic silver medalist is sharing her story of homelessness with the Seattle Times to push back on stereotypes about people living unsheltered.

Rebecca Twigg, 56, competed in the Olympics and set world records for cycling. But after leaving the sport, Twigg struggled find her footing in the non-cycling world, she told the Times. The Seattle native worked in IT jobs, but at age 50, found herself unemployed. She lost her housing, lived in her car, and spent time living on Seattle's streets.

Twigg's story comes a few weeks after a controversial KOMO News special, "Seattle Is Dying," dramatized people living in crisis outdoors in Seattle. The reporter who produced the special, Eric Johnson, said it was about the drug crisis, but a lot of the focus was on Seattle's highly-visible homeless encampments, feeding stereotypes about why people end up homeless.

King County's 2018 Count Us In census counted 12,112 people living homeless in the county. In that report, about 44 percent reported some kind of economic reason for becoming homeless — a job loss, rent increase, or foreclosure, for example. About 21 percent reported that they were homeless due to alcohol or drug addiction.

Twigg "agreed to share her story to convince the public that not all homeless people are addicted to drugs or alcohol; that there are many like her, who have struggled with employment and are 'confused,' as she said she is, about what to do next with their lives. She did not want to discuss mental health but feels it should be treated more seriously in Washington," the Times reported.

Cheers, Neal

+1 mph Faster
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for sharing.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Very sad story.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [turdburgler] [ In reply to ]
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Quite sad - I'm surprised she could not get involved with coaching / cycling shops / US Cycling, etc. to keep herself afloat...certainly enough credibility to do so.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Ok I will be the realist here like a poster alluded too...…..

7.1 million jobs available in the US and she is confused about what to do? Unless she has some kind of mental health problem, which may be the case, at age 56 she can find a job. Maybe its time to leave Seattle.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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Scottxs wrote:
Ok I will be the realist here like a poster alluded too...…..

7.1 million jobs available in the US and she is confused about what to do? Unless she has some kind of mental health problem, which may be the case, at age 56 she can find a job. Maybe its time to leave Seattle.

from the article, it's pretty clear there are some mental health issues
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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If only it were so easy to get a job when you're entering the 55+ age bracket. Particularly in IT, and double that for for women. And trying for a job you've never held (just change careers) is even harder. And once you slide down that slope, getting to interviews gets problematic, as does arriving not looking like a homeless person. Oh, and if you're homeless, how in hell do you "leave Seattle"?

I'm closer to the feathered end of the spear than the point.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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They're absolutely are some mental health issues, just look at all the help she has been offered over the years, the jobs she has gotten, and each time she sabotages them. And now when there are lots of people willing to help, she won't accept it, because she feels everyone should get the help( I agree with that too, but one needs to look out for themselves when help is offered)

I was at those 84 games and had a front row seat to her accomplishments. I was also a bike racer(to get better in my new career of pro triathlete). It is funny that I just assumed that people like her, Connie, Phinney, Alexi Grewal, etc. were living the high life, and making tons of money. This was the games that turned the corner and made a ton of $$ for LA and surrounding areas, but it makes sense now that it did not really trickle down to the athletes. It was also the very beginning time when pros from some sports could actually compete in the games, but now as I recall, cycling was not there yet.

It saddens me to see this, I had no idea about how her life ended up. But good news is that it seems she is physically healthy, has a lot of people that want to help, and a happy ending to her story is still possible. I really hope so..

I see they eliminated the comment section of the article, wonder if it blew up like a bad thread here...
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [David_Tris] [ In reply to ]
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David_Tris wrote:
If only it were so easy to get a job when you're entering the 55+ age bracket. Particularly in IT, and double that for for women. And trying for a job you've never held (just change careers) is even harder. And once you slide down that slope, getting to interviews gets problematic, as does arriving not looking like a homeless person. Oh, and if you're homeless, how in hell do you "leave Seattle"?

And your solution? People are hard to help... even when mental health is not an issue.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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I have an ex-pro friend and the realities of being a pro cyclist aren't that great. You make decent money and you're good at riding a bike.. if that ends suddenly and/or you age out, then what? Especially in the US where people could care less about people that ride bikes... outside of an hour of coverage in some evening recap of the Olympics... maybe. There are homeless people of all sorts, pro cyclist is not surprising to me as someone that 'might be'... I picked up one of my brothers from a homeless shelter one time and got to talking with a friend he'd made there... guy was a pro boxer at one time and had fought Tyson.

Summary, you never know how life may end up for people that might look like they've got it on a string...
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [pk] [ In reply to ]
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Considering the fact that she was an intellectual prodigy, and one of the best US female cyclists of all time on both road and track, and was inducted into the US bicycling hall of fame, of course this is super sad to hear. And that somehow our society can't seem to offer useful help/housing/a career? to someone like this.

There is little doubt that mental health and anxiety are factors for Rebecca. It is not a problem with her work ethic, I think her time on bikes proved that beyond any doubt. I am sure her home life as a child was not great, heck, being kicked out of her home at age 15 probably didn't help either.

But reading about this is probably good for all.

Knowledge is power.

Advanced TopTube Bento Speedpacks for Road, Gravel, & Triathlon.. .Direct-mount & ZeroSlip-mount, made in the USA.. .DarkSpeedWorks.com. .Reviews. .Instagram. .Facebook
"Why would you want to be the last man alive on a sinking ship?" -- on why Tesla shares its patents.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [xeon] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry to see this as I recall her as one of the most talented and accomplished cyclists when the sport started becoming more popular in US in the 1980s. She also has some brain power based on academic work and IT jobs. Hope she gets some help and accepts some help. The advice to “get a job” seems pretty harsh.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Monty and Mikison hit the nail on the head. I was so saddened by the article and immediately thought I would like to help her. But like most things it is a very complicated story. Grewal also had a very hard time of life and there have been a couple high profile triathletes in the same boat. Mental health issues are a huge part of, but not the total picture in homelessness. When I worked ER duties, we had the same couple dozen homeless dudes coming in the ER over and over again. I got to know about some of them a lot more than I really wanted to.
There is always a hook...abusive or absent childhood, abusive relationships, alcohol or drug abuse, undiagnosed mental health issues, schizophrenia, family tragedy, increasing depression, or major event change (like losing ones job) that starts a downward spiral. Some times like Monty mentioned all kinds of help just isn't enough to mend the cycle. We all need to thank our lucky stars that we have homes, families, jobs and food on our tables and avoided this tragic situation. Homelessness and mental health are becoming huge social issues in this country and abroad as well. Technology is a wonderful thing but life seems to have speeded up and has proven hard on the folks not able to grow and change with the times.
Last edited by: G-man: Apr 16, 19 10:44
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
I see they eliminated the comment section of the article, wonder if it blew up like a bad thread here...

Note at end of article: "Editor’s note: Out of concern for those involved in this story and their loved ones, the comment thread has been removed."

I'm thankful to the reporter who wrote this story and to the Seattle Times for publishing the story. The story reveals that there aren't easy answers for Rebecca Twigg's current situation, but I think most of us can relate to her issues. She has survived and I hope she gets the assistance that will help her find a home and also help others find homes.
Last edited by: Mark Lemmon: Apr 16, 19 11:20
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [G-man] [ In reply to ]
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Certainly... as I mentioned my brother in an early post has been in and out of homelessness for years. Mental health probably at the root as he's not a big drug user although the women he falls in love with (for about a month) tend to be alcoholics or heroine addicts... he had some years of stability, had wife, two kids... that went up in flames, they lost the kids, par for him. He's been in and out of jail since them, homeless and from a recent piece I saw in the newspaper back in jail for some serious charges.

It really is sad and this thread suddenly made me think about my brother that I love but honestly I don't know how I could help him... we've talked over the years, I've given him money, a car at one point, etc. Smart guy, can be charming, very loving... but that person almost seems dead or buried underneath the crazy and so self destructive... think at one point he was diagnosed paranoia schitzo.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [Mark Lemmon] [ In reply to ]
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Note at end of article: "Editor’s note: Out of concern for those involved in this story and their loved ones, the comment thread has been removed." //

Ya, I saw that, just wasn't sure if it was removed pre or post some comments...
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Considering the fact that she was an intellectual prodigy, and one of the best US female cyclists of all time on both road and track, and was inducted into the US bicycling hall of fame, of course this is super sad to hear. And that somehow our society can't seem to offer useful help/housing/a career? to someone like this.

There is little doubt that mental health and anxiety are factors for Rebecca. It is not a problem with her work ethic, I think her time on bikes proved that beyond any doubt. I am sure her home life as a child was not great, heck, being kicked out of her home at age 15 probably didn't help either.

But reading about this is probably good for all.

Knowledge is power.

Yes it is. For instance SAP has a good program to integrate autistic people that kind of struggle in a normal work environment but have skills that can be very useful for the company.

I would think that miss twigg in the right environment would be a great asset for a company. As you say she was academically gifted and certainly not afraid of hard work either.

The thing is I guess she points out that it's not so much about her but many people.

http://www.pb3coaching.com
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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I am sure her home life as a child was not great, heck, being kicked out of her home at age 15 probably didn't help either. //

It may or may not have been great, but from what I read, I wouldn't put it on her mother just yet. If you are now known to have a mental illness, might not you have had it all along? Seems like mom may have given her an ultimatum about so issue at the time, and she choose to go out on her own. Had she not been a world beating cyclist, she might have just ended up in this same or worst place, but without all the accolades along the way. I have found that a lot of folks at the top of their piles, often have something quirky in their personalities. And I think it is often that peculiar ness that got them there in the first place, driven by demons and desire, and a whole host of things many don't understand, or look past because of what they accomplish.


And I have no knowledge if mom was the bad guy or not, or something in-between. Just how I read the piece, she said she was given a choice in the matter at 16.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed that it is not entirely clear, but her sister says that she was "kicked out" in the article.

In any case, in my opinion, it IS incumbent on the parent to take the lead to help their kids at that age (age 15), irrelevant of what the source of the problem is, whether it is illness or whatever. The bucks stops somewhere, and it stops with the parent when the child is that young.

Greg

Advanced TopTube Bento Speedpacks for Road, Gravel, & Triathlon.. .Direct-mount & ZeroSlip-mount, made in the USA.. .DarkSpeedWorks.com. .Reviews. .Instagram. .Facebook
"Why would you want to be the last man alive on a sinking ship?" -- on why Tesla shares its patents.
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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The bucks stops somewhere, and it stops with the parent when the child is that young. //

And in hindsight, I would argue that the best thing that could have happened when she was 15, did happen. Her leaving home at that age is what led to the next 15 years of what appears to be a successful life, one where she wins olympic medals. Of course you can go down a whole bunch of what if roads, but mentally ill is not something that just goes away. She got to have a single minded focus for a good period of time, and as the article states, she got to be who she was, in her own way. It wasn't until it was all over and she had to live a prescribed way, that the real trouble and illness became much more apparent, and presumably worse.


Another take on this story, I have always wondered if the PEDS these people took, added to their mental problems. We certainly have examples in the mens fields. Pantani being one that comes to mind just thinking about this. Eddy B. was notorious for his bags of vitamins, and we pretty much know most of that 84 team was already blood doping at the time. Of course it was the last time it was legal, (I'll use that term lightly here), but once shown the promised land of PED's(and how well they work), are you really going back once they are outlawed, and no one is really checking??
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [monty] [ In reply to ]
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ST has been moving away from comments on all of their pieces.

Like most comments sections (maybe NYT, WSJ, and WaPo aside) it's the play place for all the people that think the world is going to hell cuz it's different than it used to be and, in this particular situation, they have the solution, kill the homeless (not joking), or just make them go away, far away from here.

When asked how folks could help her she responded with "build more housing". Something that the above chicken littles' fervently attempt to prohibit.

I hate NIMBYs

_____________________________________________________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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When asked how folks could help her she responded with "build more housing". Something that the above chicken littles' fervently attempt to prohibit.

I hate NIMBYs //

This exact topic has gotten very hot and heavy here in CA. Our new governor has pledged to build a "LOT" more affordable housing, which most people go along with, unless it is in the NIMBY category. The factions on either side of this issue are going at it, and it is fascinating to watch each side turn themselves inside out, to get the most provocative descriptions of the negative sides..
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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mickison wrote:
Scottxs wrote:
Ok I will be the realist here like a poster alluded too...…..

7.1 million jobs available in the US and she is confused about what to do? Unless she has some kind of mental health problem, which may be the case, at age 56 she can find a job. Maybe its time to leave Seattle.


from the article, it's pretty clear there are some mental health issues
She has a degree in comp sci and she would get along perfectly fine in Seattle if she could hold a job. The part about her not showing up for 4 days / not telling anyone - pretty clearly indicates a mental issue, and even then the job wasn't going to fire her.

She's probably pretty good at what she does and she'd be making far more money than she ever did cycling. She has some local relatives too, but at some point if a person isn't willing to get help themselves, how much can you do?
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Re: Former Olympic Cyclist Now Living Homeless In Seattle: Report [monty] [ In reply to ]
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<lavender room>
I don't have a problem when libertarians or conservatives protest against it, that's on brand for that crew, it's when dems and progressives suddenly turn reactionary and anti-environmental that my hypocrite radar starts bugging out.

Good job hoarding access to economic opportunity! There's 100 million more folks here than there were in 1980 and helluva lot less places that allow for personal economic betterment. Better make room for them.
</>

_____________________________________________________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
Foras Maps: Race Discovery made easy | Garmin Glycogen Use App | Garmin Fat Use App
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