I've been enjoying reading Kathryn Bertine's Olympic Blog on espn. I met Kathryn on the shootout and in one minute of talking to her, I pegged her as nice, intelligent and very ambitious. Then when I got home Todd told me a bit of her story. I started following her blogs. Boy, was I right on the money on that first impression.
Kathryn has wrote the book "All the Sundays Yet to Come" about her experiences in the figure skating world. Now she has a book deal with ESPN to write about her travails getting to the 2008 Summer Olympics. At the time of the book deal, she didn't actually have one sport that she was counting on making it to the Games with. She trys out for handball, pentathelon and cycling teams. Google her name and you can read all the funny stories.
But I got to ask her a few questions:
Why did you switch from triathlon to cycling?
I'd been doing triath-a-lons for eight years. I did okay, but was a middle-o-the-pack pro racer. I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I focused all my energy and training one my best discipline, the bike.
Have you considered a switch to the dirt?
I've always liked dirt. I have fallen in it lots of times, but usually there is not a bike involved. I would really like to try mountain biking at some point. But only if you will show me how. You're such a rock star, Sue!
If you had to stereotype cyclists how would you do it?
Male cyclists: Weird.
Female cyclists: Weirder.
Briefly describe your improvement in cycling?
Well, funny story... I went from Cat 4 to Cat 1 in ten months. This means I'm the most inexperienced Cat 1 out there, but I have made vast improvements in lancing saddle sores.
In your opinion, how hard is it to become an Olympian?
Hard. You have no idea how much paperwork is involved. Ok, seriously? It is the hardest thing I've ever attempted. And therefore the best. I'm kind of burning the candle at both ends right now, and result is either going to get me to Beijing or to a mental institution. I plan on holding a very big party before entering either.
Lastly, which earns you more dough...prize money at cycling races or taking your used clothes to the Buffalo Exchange?
Definitely cycling. The last time I went to Buffalo Exchange they didn't take one freaking tee shirt. The punk rock cashier lady said, "Uh, yeah, this stuff really isn't in style anymore. Sorry." Whatever. She wishes she could win $25 in a local crit! I don't need your Buffalo charity. I get paid in five dollar bills, yo. Snap!