The true story of Graeme Obree, the Champion cyclist who built his bicycle from old bits of washing machines who won his championship only to have his title stripped from him and his mental health problems which he has suffered since.
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The Flying Scotsman is a feature film based on the remarkable true story of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree. In 1993, and as an unemployed amateur, Obree broke the world one-hour record on a bike of his own revolutionary design, which he constructed out of scrap metal and parts of a washing machine. Written by
Being a relative of Graeme ( albeit fairly distant - his father and my mother were cousins)I knew the story well - I keep close contact with his Aunt ( My Mothers cousin)who would update me on how the "Scottish branch" of the family were doing. I followed Graemes career closely and remember vividly seeing his triumphs on the news. I knew about some of the issues he had to face in his life, the adversity that he had to overcome time and time again. Sitting down in a PACKED movie theatre in Christchurch NZ, I felt tremendously proud of him and e-mailed home straight away to pass on that message that, if he still has any doubts today, then I wanted him to know that, on the other side of the world, he packed a theatre out and, the chances are that, if he packed a theatre in tiny Christchurch then, he will have done so in Wellington, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne etc. Cycling is pretty popular here in the Southern Hemisphere and there were young kids in the audience who held him up as a hero. His honesty in writing his autobiography and allowing this film to be made, no holds barred is truly an inspiration because it shows that, if he can make it, become world champion twice, break the hour record, twice, without the major sponsorship and million pound technology of his contemparies, then so can they, the young lads starting out. Graeme, you were an inspiration and you still are, to MANY MANY people. And you have earned the admiration of many many people not only with your genius designs but with your honesty in facing your demons and confronting them head on. I know the Obree family continue to be very proud of you but, ultimately, you can be immensely proud of yourself and everything you have achieved. If the Cycling fraternity were to ever appoint an ambassador for the sport to get youngsters more interested in it - it really should be you. Watching the movie was painful at times but, ultimately I came out of the theatre very, very proud and I wish you and your family all the best for the future.
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