Today we have our first guest interview with Tara Whitten. I have known her since she started cycling six years ago and she is not only my teammate but one of my closest friends. Tara was a cross country skier for many years and loves skiing and being in the outdoors. She was on the National Ski Team but never achieved the goals she wanted to. When she tried cycling everything felt new and different but she fell in love with cycling too. She decided to change sports and has now been WORLD CHAMPION three times in cycling! She is a really good example for following your dreams and never giving up.
Name: Tara Whitten
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Sport: Track Cycling
Best Result: 1st place, Track World Championships (Omnium), 2010 and 2011
How did you get into your sport? I was competing in another sport at the time (cross country skiing), and a friend suggested I try track cycling. At first I just tried it as cross-training for skiing, but eventually I decided to commit to it full time.
What do you love about your sport? There are so many components to track cycling: speed, power, endurance, tactics. I love combining all of those things!
What is a challenge you have overcome in your sport? I had to overcome the fear of the unknown. I started the sport quite late, so I really didn’t know what I was doing and it was scary! But it was also exciting to learn something new.
What do you love to do other than your sport? I love learning new things, I love reading, and I love spending time outside.
What Region is your hometown in? My hometown is in the prairies of Alberta, on the banks of the North Saskatchewan river.
What is your favourite part about your hometown/ what makes it unique to other parts of Canada? I really like the river valley in Edmonton. It is a great place for being active: walking, running, cycling, or just enjoying the outdoors.
What is your favourite place in Canada and why? My favourite place in Canada is the Canadian shield. When I was growing up my family would do long canoe trips on the lakes in Northern Saskatchewan and Ontario, and I find the rocky shorelines really beautiful.
What do you eat for Breakfast? Oatmeal, cranberries, almonds, yogurt, cottage cheese and a banana.
What is one of your favourite quotes? Steve Prefontaine: “A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.”