SAN FRANCISCO—Returning Olympians Martha Candle and Scott Nielsen are starting their day with a fast-paced run up Telegraph Hill. Members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team, they’re now back on American soil and preparing for another sporting challenge – the 3rd annual “420 Games” in Golden Gate Park this weekend. The duo, both avid cannabis connoisseurs, have been longtime advocates of medical marijuana and its curative powers for runners.
Nielsen admits that once he realized in Rio that he was in “the same heat as superhuman Usain Bolt,” says the runner, “I thought to myself, let’s save a little something for the 420 Games back home. If you saw that race, you can very briefly see me jogging sort of lackadaisically down the track with a great big smile on my face. It was at that very moment I realized I’d have a real shot at winning the only race that ever mattered – the 420 Games.”
Olympian Candle relates a similar experience to Nielsen’s. She was eliminated after the first heat of her race and was soon sitting with the rest of the team. “I looked at that competition and realized, screw this, I’d rather win the 420 Games any day – so I tanked it.”
One of the main goals of the 420 Games – which will likely see thousands of participants this weekend – has been to destigmatize cannabis and the people who use it by displaying a highly functioning, ultra-competitive group of cannabis enthusiasts duking it out for the green: a cash prize of $1,000 for each man and woman first-place finisher.
“Hells yes!” says Candle. “After I collect my winnings, I’m heading straight over to The Apothecarium. Dabs for everyone on me!”