Wiggin' Out: Bradley Wiggins Drinks To His Gold Medal, And The Mods Applaud

Aug 2, 2012
Originally published on August 2, 2012 4:54 pm

Fresh off becoming Britain's most-decorated Olympian, cyclist Bradley Wiggins is back in the news, as he updated his Twitter followers Wednesday night with details of how his celebration was going.

"Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages," Wiggins tweeted to his more than 400,000 followers. "Thank You everyone it's been emotional X."

That message followed an even more to-the-point, "Getting wasted at at StPauls," which was accompanied by Instagram photos showing the time-trial gold medalist hoisting a cocktail and posing for the camera with the famed cathedral dome lit up in the night behind him.

As the AP reports, it's not the first time Wiggins has had a liquid celebration — and among Olympians in London, he's far from alone:

"After appearing at his second Olympics in 2004, Wiggins was downing drinks for months after the Athens cauldron was extinguished. Now he says the drinking is under control."

"'I lead a pretty normal life,' he said between sips of a vodka and tonic on Wednesday night. 'I'm not a celebrity. I will never be a celebrity.'"

If Wiggins isn't careful, he won't have that status for long. After all, he became Britain's first-ever winner of the Tour de France last month. And he followed it up by capturing his record seventh Olympic medal — a combo that's reportedly never before been achieved in the same year.

Wiggins has certainly captured the imagination of both his admirers and the media, some of whom visibly struggle not to call him by his unofficial nickname of Wiggo. Even before Wednesday's escapades, his Twitter account was a hit, with his plain-spoken and wry sense of humor.

For instance, here's his first tweet from the London Games: "Just arrived at the Olympics, got all me kit, still think Stella was a bit Lucy in the Sky when she knocked this one up."

That would be designer Stella McCartney, daughter of Paul... who sang about hallucinogenically enhanced scenery in "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Another of Wiggins' tweets could have been the title of a painting seen in a cafe in any New Wave film of the 1960s: "Boy picking his nose surrounded by lions."

That one accompanied a photo that depicted his son, Ben, laying on a couch engaged in said activity — surrounded by the stuffed lions that are given out on the podium of the Tour de France.

With his red hair, long sideburns and slender frame, Wiggins stands out among elite cyclists. He gravitates toward British icons like musician Paul Weller — also known as the Modfather — and Paul Smith, whose clean and classic designs clothed a generation of mods — and their descendants.

And as the New Music Express excitedly reported in July, Wiggins is a big fan of mod music. In addition to Weller's band The Jam, he listed The Who and The Smiths as favorites. He also gave NME a playlist of songs.

"A sporting hero, and someone you'd trust with the pub jukebox?" wrote NME's Ailbhe Malone. "Bradley Wiggins, we salute you."

His association with Britain's mods led the BBC to do its own feature piece on Wiggins, complete with Quadrophenic scooters (Wiggins has several). The article's headline posed the question, "Bradley Wiggins: What is a mod?"

As with many questions, it seems to contain its own answer.

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