David Weller, the first (and still the only) Jamaican to win an Olympic medal in non track and field sport. Here's how he came to ride on a Condor.
While competing in the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, Jamaican track racer David Weller won a bronze medal in the 1,000m time trial. He did so on a Condor track bike. He was the first (and still the only) Jamaican to win an Olympic medal in another sport than athletics.
Jamaica has one, 500m velodrome, which encircles the running track in the National Stadium. The stadium was built in 1962 and the velodrome added in 1966 for the Commonwealth games. A Welsh track coach and former rider named Ted Gray went on holiday to Jamaica in the late 1960s. He saw the velodrome and played about on a bike and entered a few races.
On his return to Britain he was approached by the Jamaican sports federation and asked if he would go over there to train their national cycling team. Ted knew Monty Young well through the sport and he brought the Jamaicans over to Condor (while it was at 90 Gray's Inn Road). Ted wanted them to ride Condor frames and so that's what the national team rode.
"We started working with them in the early 1970s. We kitted them out with bikes, they were such nice guys and they had the greatest respect for Ted Gray. For many years they would come over once or twice a year. All the riders were big tall guys with massive legs; good riders."
Monty continued: "It was only a tiny shop but they had never seen a shop like it. Just seeing a few frames hanging up was exciting and they appreciated what everyone was doing for them. I'm sure a lot of their earlier bikes were old used frames, possibly converted from old road bikes."
Monty explained that from the link with the Jamaican team Condor became so well known in the West Indies that "we had individuals and Commonwealth Games riders from Trinidad and Barbados all riding our track frames."
Weller finished third in the 1km Time Trial also known as 'The Kilo'. The gold was won by Lothar Thomas of East Germany who set a time of 1:02.955 a new Olympic and World record. Watch the medal winning ride and David Weller's podium presentation.
David Weller's bronze medal time of 1:05.241 would have beaten the 1976 Olympic gold medal time Klaus-Jurgen Grünke set in Montreal.