Jeff Bauman and Jake Gyllenhaal to serve as Indy 500 starters

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, left, walks with actor Jake Gyllenhaal before throwing out the first pitch before a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, Monday, April 18, 2016, in Boston. Gyllenhaal is playing Bauman in a movie called Stronger. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and actor Jake Gyllenhaal at Fenway Park before throwing out the first pitch on April 18, 2016. –AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Monday that Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Bauman in the upcoming biopic Stronger, will serve as honorary starters for the 101st Indianapolis 500 on May 28.

According to a press release, Bauman and Gyllenhaal will be the first duo to wave the green flag in the race’s history.

“We’re honored to welcome Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman to send the field of 33 starters into Turn 1 for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president, in the release. “It’s fitting that our fans will join Jake in honoring an incredible hero like Jeff on Memorial Day weekend, as it’s a time when all Americans honor those who have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation.”


Bauman lost both of his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings while waiting for then-girlfriend Erin Hurley to finish the race. Stronger, based on Bauman’s New York Times best-selling book of the same name, chronicles the ordeal and Bauman’s road to recovery, with Gyllenhaal playing Bauman and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) playing Hurley.

Bauman and Hurley married and had a daughter in 2014, but announced plans to divorce in February.

Stronger is set to hit theaters Sept. 22.

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