Making the Olympic Long Team
that was my goal. In four years I wanted to see my name on that list. That was the same year that I could barely make it around a World Cup course. I had a plan.
As the years have gone by, I’ve made massive improvements. I never forgot about the goal I set four years prior, but it wasn’t the focus. The focus was always what was right around the next corner. I measured my progress in centimeters instead of miles, and that’s why I was constantly celebrating. It was that joy of celebration that offered me so much motivation.
In 2019 I was named to the Elite World Championship team. That in and of itself was a dream come true. When I lined up on that start line, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I raced my heart out, and with God, I produced a result I couldn’t have been prouder of.
Months later, I sat in a coffee shop and recalled my brave goal I had made years before. What would it have taken to qualify for the Olympic Long team? I searched the USA Cycling website and opened the lengthy and complicated criteria document. I scrolled down reading each detail and stopped short. It was right there. I had qualified.
Impostor syndrome immediately set in.
Maybe I was wrong? It couldn’t be. Little me had unknowingly achieved my goal all along. I was in shock and still in disbelief when the e-mail arrived in my inbox: “Dear Hannah, I am pleased to announce that you have been named to the 2020 Olympic Games Long team.”
Anyone familiar with the cycling world will look at the Long team list and know that my name is an underdog. I am the new kid on the block, and I embrace that challenge.
I’ve always loved an underdog story, though. My trajectory has been high, my motivation is off of the charts, and I’m all in. The only thing I would ever regret is not giving this everything I have. I will not let up now that I’m closer than I’ve ever been before. Now is the time to buckle up. The best has yet to come.
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.