In this episode, we hear the story of Portlander Felipe Nystrom.
Please be advised of this content warning: This episode includes mentions of physical and sexual abuse, suicide, and descriptions of excessive drug and alcohol use.
We first first heard about Felipe's story in fall of 2019 and he and our host, BikePortland founder and editor Jonathan Maus, got together for an interview in July of that year. For various reasons, we never shared the story on BikePortland and it's been nagging us ever since, so we're very excited to finally bring it to you. We're also grateful that Felipe trusted us with personal details about his childhood he's never shared publicly before.
Some of you might know Felipe as an elite competitor on the regional racing circuit who's had a meteoric rise through the ranks — in just a few seasons he went from beginner in 2015, to Costa Rican National Champion in 2019 and a World Cup competitor this year. But his cycling success is just a tiny part of his life story. The first 30 years of his life were a struggle for survival. Before he went into rehab and ultimately moved to Portland in 2013, Felipe was hopeless and homeless, living on the streets of San Jose after after a life filled with traumatic experiences and after several attempts to commit suicide.
Suffice it to say, Felipe's life has gone through a remarkable transformation.
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Our theme music is by Kevin Hartnell.