What is the greatest challenge LGBTQIA+ athletes face today?
I think the greatest challenge that LGBTQIA+ athletes face is the same as LGBTQIA+ people face as humans. The fear that if you come out and live your true authentic self, you could lose everything. You could lose opportunity, family, friends, sponsors, and dreams.
Fear of these things is a very powerful thing. But you know what is bigger than this fear? Support. Support, love, and representation are the antidotes to this.
What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
To live my life unapologetically out loud. If I can be a role model for another LGBTQ+ member and help them see that you can be an Olympian, an elite athlete with sponsors, and gay, then this is a big success.
What’s an important lesson you’ve learned as a professional athlete?
Hard work pays off. If I work the hardest I can, I can make anything happen.
What’s the song, artist, or band that gets you pumped up for a ride/run?
Beyoncé. Period. End of story.
What would you tell your younger self?
You won't even believe the places a bike will take you. This is going to be a lot of fun.
Do you have any pre-event rituals or superstitions?
YES! I have different good luck charms for each season. They reveal themself to me as the season progresses (haha). It's pretty much the socks, sports bra, hair tie, or anything else that was involved the day I had a really good race.
If you could ask allies to do one thing, what would it be?
Be VERY loud about your support. Supportive acts make a difference. Recently, I saw a pride flag flying at a mountain bike race and I immediately felt more safe and comforted, like this is a safe space for me. People support me here.