Prior to my one-on-one exclusive interview with mountain
biker Niki Gudex for the cover feature in this 20/20’s sports
eyewear issue, I had never heard of her, myself being only a
sporadic bike rider, giving up for months at a time when the
chain falls off the pedal sprocket. While researching the subject
of athlete sponsorship, I opened up my Shape magazine
to an Oakley ad featuring pictures
of Niki on horseback at
the beach, waist-high in a lake
lifting her bike over her head and
swinging carefree in a field, and I
was even more inspired to learn
about this multi-faceted biker.
When I had the pleasure of
speaking to Niki and Oakley
sports marketing manager Steve
Blick, I learned about
a collaboration that
an athlete whose
the sport itself, whose
style goes beyond her
cool looks. Behind
the Oakleys is a
girl whose life is
lived, as Oakley’s
puts it: Uniquely.
— Melissa Arkin
Top and left images photographed by CHRISTOPHER WRAY-MCCANN; bottom right image photographed by DEREK FRANKOWSKI
Over the past 20 years, I’ve seen some pretty interesting things during clinic time. I recently had the amazing experience of meeting a young man with albinism. In the United States and Europe, there are only one in 18,000 to 20,000 people who have some type of albinism. He was only the second patient I have had the opportunity to work with, and the first Caucasian male. I decided to research the condition.
There’s an internet eyewear retailer whose advertising claims to dispel the “myths” of internet eyewear purchases. Here’s one. “Myth: Online glasses compromise on quality. While there are certain online retailers that sell less-than-quality products, there are plenty of low quality products at retailers that sell at brick and mortar locations. All you need to do is make sure you do your research.” Was that supposed to be reassuring?