Cycling Coach Edward “Eddie B.” Borysewicz Has Passed Away Due to COVID-19


Cycling coach Edward " Eddie B. " Borysewicz passed away on November 16, 2020.

Cycling Coach Edward “Eddie B.” Borysewicz passed away on November 16, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19, at a hospital in Drezdenko, Poland. He was 81 years old.

Wikipedia highlights Eddie B’s earlier years:

Borysewicz was born in northeastern Poland, a region now a part of Belarus.[1]He was originally a runner. He changed to cycling in his youth, quickly showing talent in races and twice becoming junior national champion.[1]Two years of military national service followed, during which the army denied him a place in its sports battalion because, he said, his father was anti-communist.[1]He was misdiagnosed with tuberculosis after leaving the army but recovered to win two more national championships.[1]The effects of tuberculosis treatment, however, adversely affected his liver so he stopped racing and sought a degree in physical education at the University of Warsaw. He claims 30 national and world championships for his subsequent coaching,[1]among them Mieczysław Nowicki, later appointed Minister of Sport in Poland.

He went to the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976 as assistant for the Polish team. He went from there to New Jersey, USA, to see friends with whom he had raced for Poland.[3]There he became associated with the North Jersey Bicycle Club, whose jersey he was wearing when he met Mike Fraysse, chairman of the American cycling federation’s competition committee, in a cycle shop.[1]The federation had gained money for coaching and support of athletes from President Jimmy Carter’s inquiry into the domination in sport by what were perceived to be state-sponsored amateurs from communist countries.[3]Fraysee spoke to Borysewicz about bringing his experience of Polish sports schools. They spoke in French because Borysewicz spoke no English.[3]Next year the US federation took on Borysewicz as its first full-time coach. His riders referred to him as “Eddie B” because they could not master his surname, pronounced Borisevich.[4]

Eddie B. is best known as a legendary cycling coach that coached the US Cycling Team to nine medals in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He was also controversial as he was tied to the blood doping scandal from the 1984 Olympics, where he denied involvement but was fined.

Eddie B. has called Southern California his home where he lived in Ramona and lost his home in the Cedar Fire in 2003. With the help of friends throughout the world, he received substantial donations and was able to rebuild his home.

There is no doubt that Eddie B. is an important influence and historical figure in developing US Cycling. We extend our condolences to Eddie B’s family and friends.

Remembrances