23 October, 2008

Why I changed my name

“Frank McConnely”. That was the worst massacre of my name by a mountain bike race announcer that I can remember. It wasn’t the only massacre, just the worst. The most frequent was “Franklin McConnell” or “Frank McConnell”, and there were others, but “Frank McConnely” just blew them all away. I told the officials over and over that my name actually was “McConnell Franklin” and that I hadn’t filled out the entry form incorrectly but they never got it. Even when I started doing well at races, even winning some, they refused to get my name right.
I finally gave in. My coaches and I discussed it and we decided that it was probably hurting me to have my name massacred over and over. First of all, the UCI (Union Cycliste International) website had me listed as “Franklin McConnell” and we were worried that I might not be getting all of the international points I should be. Secondly, my coaches said that if I wanted people (and sponsors) to remember and recognize my name then I needed to use something that was easier to remember and impossible to confuse. So “Macky Franklin” I became (at least in the cycling world).
Fortunately, USA Cycling made it really easy to change. I talked to one or two people at the USA Cycling office, changed it online, and that was that. They changed all of my past results as well, so any time USA Cycling license number 0215111 comes up, so does “Macky Franklin”. Unfortunately, UCI has not been as easy to contact and I am still working on getting them to change my name.
I have been going by “Macky” since I was little, so the actual change wasn’t a big deal, but it was a little weird to see my nickname on all of the “official” results instead of my “real” name. I’m used to it now though and it seems to be working because announcers no longer call me “Frank”. Success!

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