Q&A: Amber Beside is preparing for gold at third Olympic Games


Olympics – Yolo BedTime

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In 2012 Amber went to the London Olympics and finished seventh in the individual time trial. Now, almost 10 years later, Beside was chosen to go back and compete among the rings; the goal is gold, she says.

Also read: Olympia 2021: Amber Neben is watching Olympic gold at the age of 46

While Neben’s focus was on training for the Tokyo Games, her attitude was easy. Guided by her faith, Neben sees the Olympic Games as an opportunity to prove her skills on the bike and to take advantage of an opportunity given to her by a higher power. In a word, she is ‘excited’.

We met with Neben after Team USA’s Olympic selection was announced.

VeloNews: You were on a six-hour training ride on Thursday when the Olympic selection was announced. What thoughts went through your head?

Amber Beside: It was a fun day. I’m in the middle of a huge training camp so it was a different celebration. I had the chance to spend it with my trainer on the bike, my husband in the support car and the Lord in my heart. I’m excited! It was the first step towards a great goal. It is a great honor to represent the United States again. The Olympics are huge. I am enthusiastic, but at the same time very focused.

VN: When we spoke a month ago, you said the goal is not just the Olympics, but gold. Talk about it.

A: I don’t think I see it as pressure. It’s this great challenge ahead of me. I want to raise the bar as high as possible and get started. I still have a chance.

VN: It must feel like an incredible keystone in your career. Or are you just starting to think this way until the games are over?

A: I’m not going to start thinking about the Olympics as a keystone until the Games are over. Right now, I’m really enjoying the moments. The process is so special. I don’t think much, but I know this won’t last forever. I do my best to just soak it all up. I am learning and growing so much. God pours a lot into me and I hope that through this I can give back and encourage something in all areas of life.

VN: Do you feel prepared by your last two games or does it feel like the first time? What are the advantages for you of having been to the Olympics?

A: With all of the COVID restrictions, I think the games will be a very different experience this year. It’ll feel like the first time that way. I think it’s important to have a World Cup or Olympic experience. Knowing what it feels like to take part in a big event on the world stage is different from a normal race. It is helpful to have felt this beforehand and to have mastered the steps, the fuss, and the expectations. The COVID restrictions and tests will surely be new to everyone.

VN: How did you spend the last “extra” year preparing for this opportunity?

AN: I got to go into the wind tunnel a couple of times to refine some of the drag equations. I was able to choose the focus physically and mentally. I’m probably more relaxed too. But to be honest, I think that the extra year for me personally was more of a spiritual preparation time. I was better positioned to see how the hunt for the gold medal was a way for Him to work inside of me. His strength has carried me through my career and to this point. The additional year definitely overwhelmed me and made me more dependent on him than ever.

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