Noah Droddy was captain of his track team in college, but didn’t stick with it afterward. That was three years ago. Now the 25-year-old considers himself a track fan, and even bought tickets to watch the Olympic track events in Rio. But then he got a chance to train with a prestigious coach, sponsored by a running club that was looking for out-of-the ordinary athletes. And he qualified for the US Olympic trials in the 10K, by the skin of his teeth. That race was last weekend. Droddy had never run in front of so many people. He said he’d never even seen that many people.
In the lineup of clean-shaven, big-brand-sponsored distance stars hoping to make the U.S. Olympic team on a Friday night in Eugene, Oregon, the Joe Dirt doppelganger with bouncing locks and a killer ’stache didn’t fit.
Naturally, social media fell in love.
He was called a “hero,” “majestic,” the “most American athlete to ever live.” Someone suggested bald eagles be photoshopped behind him. Another said he must have lost his way while heading to a house party.
Droddy did not win the race, nor did he make the Olympic team. But he became a social media darling, and says he hasn’t paid for his own beer since that day.