PORTLAND, OR — In just a few days, three American athletes will embark on a journey that will become a hallmark event in American sports history. No, I’m not talking about the Olympics. I’m talking about the first mountain bike orienteering team to ever compete in Europe on behalf of Team United States of America!
According to the World MTBO Championships website Susan Grandjean, Rebecca Jensen, and Abra McNair are listed as Women Elite (WE) category competitors with all three athletes registered for WE Long Distance Qualification (LDQ), WE Sprint Distance Event, and WE Middle Distance Event. Their journey into history will begin in Veszprem, Hungary on Monday, 20 August, 2012, with the Long Distance Qualification, followed by the Sprint Distance Event on Tuesday, August 21st, and the Middle Distance Event on Wednesday, August 23rd. Depending on how they do during the Long Distance Qualification, the team may also get a shot at the Long Distance Final on Saturday August 25th. It’s not know yet where they will compete in the MTBO Relay event on Friday, August 24th. But will all the racing being done during the week, it is possible that they will sit the relay out in favor of rested legs for the Long Distance Final
Since the United States as not officially competed in a World MTBO Championship, USA is not listed as a Top 10 Country nor a Top 10 Team. However, in this year of American Olympic success, there is a ton of pride and patriotism riding on these three young women who are about to make Mountain Bike Orienteering history in just a few weeks.
On behalf of all of us at Mountain Bike Orienteering of America — and myself, a boy from Port Orchard, WA, who loves the fact that the first MTBO team to go the World MTBO Championships is made up of Northwestern Americans — we wish Susan, Rebecca, and Abra all the best luck during the event, and will be cheering you one as each race unfolds!
Good luck and God’s speed!
- Read the BikePortland.org story by Jonathan Maus (Aug 3rd, 2012)
- Follow Susan, Abra, and Rebecca via their blog Mountain Bike Orienteering (MTBO) Team USA