Ruth Winder on being named US Olympic team: “I have to enjoy the process”

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Olympics – Yolo BedTime

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Having an extra year in the national champions’ jersey due to the pandemic may have felt strange to Ruth Winder, but she will be wearing the Stars and Stripes a little longer now.

“I hope to make the jersey proud by wearing it for another year,” said Winder during the US Olympic team’s announcement. “Nationals and the Olympics together are two big goals, so it’s just cool to achieve both.”

Also read: Olympia 2021: Ruth Winder approaches a complex Olympic dream

Winder will lead a street team consisting of Coryn Rivera, Leah Thomas and Chloe Dygert. It is her second trip to the Olympics; In 2016, she went to Rio with the Team USA track and field team despite not being selected for the team pursuit final against Great Britain.

Winder has amassed impressive palmares on the road since Rio, joining Trek-Segafredo in 2019 and winning the U.S. National Championships that same year. While the destination Tokyo has been ubiquitous since the last Olympics, Winder is also focused on getting there.

“I think I’ve been applying things from my track experience to my road experience since it happened,” she said. “Olympia is a huge goal and a tremendous achievement, and there’s no denying that, but it also taught me that it’s only a day and that I have to enjoy the process too.”

Like all professional athletes, Winder struggled with the challenges of the pandemic in 2020 and earlier this year. One way to get through the uncertainty was to focus on your mind as much as your body.

“I’ve put a lot of time into my mental fitness, mental game, and physical fitness, and I think that has been really helpful,” she said. “I’ve learned to pressurize myself when I needed to, not when I didn’t. When you race 60 times a year it’s very mentally tiring, so my mental preparation has helped me do better at races where I really wanted to do well. “

Another part of Winder’s mental fitness plan was knowing when to relax and have fun on your bike. Whether mountain biking with her fiancé in Boulder or in a storm, Winder remained motivated last year by the balance between intense concentration and fun.

With the Olympics less than a month and a half away, Winder can have peace of mind knowing she’s already done the job.

“I’ve tried to focus on being my best athlete in all the races that are important to me and being my best teammate if that’s my role,” she said. “I go to the Olympics, understand that I took the right steps and made the right decisions, and then I put the right pressure on myself to represent the US as best I can.”

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