Nike Deactivates, Packs Galen Rupp for Trip Home from Rio

After two days of celebrating his Bronze Medal in the Olympic marathon, American distance running star Galen Rupp is heading home.

Nike technicians on Monday powered down the athlete and prepared him for transport back to Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, where he will be unpacked and updated with the latest software.

"It's a complex process," said Lionel Mandrake, head of the six-person team that accompanied Rupp to Rio for the Summer Games. "First, we do a visual inspection for signs of cosmetic damage or wear. We run him to remove nearly all his fuel, pausing near the end to add a fuel stabilizer. We drain all other fluids completely, replacing them with a low-viscosity, superoxygenated preservative. 

"After that we wipe him down with soft, dry towels. Finally we apply a thin layer of oil, to prevent corrosion."

After a final inspection, Rupp then goes into a custom-made foam clamshell package, which itself is encased in aircraft-grade aluminum. The whole thing is airtight and climate controlled.

Once he arrives back home, the process is reversed.

"It isn't cheap," said Mandrake. "But then, we've invested a lot in Rupp. It's worth it."