So Usain Bolt Is a Peloton Instructor Now?

The brand unveiled the Champions Collection, a new partnership with Olympians

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt
You'll finally get your chance to race Usain Bolt.

This morning, Peloton announced the Champions Collection, a collaborative partnership with nine very different elite athletes (eight Olympic competitors, one Paralympic), including the fastest man who’s ever lived: retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

Peloton was purposely cagey with its marketing, so at the moment we don’t know exactly what this initiative entails, only that it’s exciting. But we can piece together some details. Bolt, John John Florence (the number three ranked surfer in the world who is set to compete in the Olympics’ first-ever surfing event in Tokyo) and Angelique Kerber (multiple Grand Slam-winning tennis star) are all established fans of Peloton. This moves aims to formalize that relationship.

While the athletes likely won’t become formal instructors, they’ll probably have pages built out on the platform, where you can follow along with their favorite workouts or playlists, and perhaps get a notification of when they’re about to drop into a live class.

It’s a fascinating move for Peloton, and it speaks to the bike’s cross-training cachet in the sports world. Athletes of varying disciplines have all come to rely on the home workout machine — for blistering HIIT sessions, staying in shape during quarantine or recovering from injury.

In the past, curious amateurs have had to guess the usernames of famous athletes. For instance, enough sightings in the wild of a talented user named “rfederer1” helped trainees deduce that Roger Federer likes to moonlight as a Peloton prodigy. Elsewhere, NFL quarterbacks and PGA golfers have professed their love of the bike.

The model also flips the usual social media algorithm on its head — in this case, celebrity athletes are just part of the leaderboard. It gives casual Peloton users something to feel proud about (I raced Usain Bolt today!), while further legitimizing — without overshadowing — Peloton’s homegrown trainers, who have only seen their celebrity grow since the start of the pandemic.

Also included in the Champions Collection? Olympic sprinters Allyson Felix and Andre De Grasse, Paralympic long jumper Scout Bassett, Olympic gymnasts Becky and Ellie Downie, and former world-record-holding swimmer Kathleen Baker.

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