More than 20 years ago, football and baseball superstar Bo Jackson starred in a famous Nike commercial that shows him excelling in pretty much every sport imaginable. "Bo Knows" showed him dunking a basketball, playing tennis, lifting weights and even trying out ice hockey.
Now, Bo can add cycling to the list.
Two decades after being one of the biggest stars in sports, Bo is putting his remarkable athletic ability back to work—this time on the bike. As part of an initiative to raise money for victims of the recent Alabama tornadoes, Jackson started "Bo Bikes Bama," a charity event in which he will cycle across the state, along the path of the destructive 2011 tornadoes, in a five-day span.
Jackson, an Alabama native, is trying to raise $1 million for the Alabama Governor's Emergency Relief Fund.
"This ride is about bringing awareness to the rest of the country about how devastating these tornadoes were," Jackson told Active.com
The ride starts in Henagar, Alabama on April 24, and finishes in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 28th. He will ride about 50 miles a day with an average elevation gain of 1,500 feet. For a $200 donation, cyclists can ride a leg of the ride with him (Learn more at BoBikesBama.com). Many celebrities are confirmed to bike part of the route with Bo, including Lance Armstrong, Ken Griffey Jr., Cam Newton, Picabo Street, Ray Lewis and Eddie George.In addition, the last few miles of the ride, which will take place in Tuscaloosa on April 28, will be open to anyone who wants to ride along. Bo is hoping that more than 25,000 cyclists will join him to finish out the ride, and perhaps make a run at the Guinness Book of World Records.
Bo, of course, doesn't need a 300-mile bike ride to prove his athletic ability. He came out of Auburn University a two-sport star and Heisman Trophy winner in football. At first, he chose to play baseball professionally, signing with the Kansas City Royals.
After two years with the Royals, he decided to play football in the offseason and was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders. He was an extraordinary football player at running back and an exciting baseball player with out-of-this-world potential. His highlights in both sports are still talked about today, and he was the first athlete ever to be an All-Star in two sports in the same year.
Bo's career was cut short by a serious hip injury suffered in an NFL playoff game in 1991. He eventually had hip-replacement surgery that ended his football career. He played three more seasons of baseball before retiring from professional sports in 1994.
Bo, artificial hip and all, will now get on the bike and head across the state of Alabama.
"I've been a recreational cyclist all my life," Jackson said. "Since I got out of sports, I ride my bicycle for exercise."
And now, he's doing it to help his home state out—and he's asking you to do your part as well.
"I beg Active.com users to go to the website BoBikesBama.com," Jackson said. "You can go online and donate. Donate at least $1 to this cause. I know that we are in hard economic times right now. But if you can find it in your heart to donate $1, we'll get to that $1 million goal."
Inspired? Search for a cycling event.