Elizabeth Emery Sport
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Pan American Games TT
Winnipeg, Canada, July 25, 1999

There are so many stories from the Pan Am Games trip. Just to give you a little hint, it took us two full days to get to our Games Village. We went only to Canada!

Anyway, the Time Trial was 28 km on a mostly flat course with a big ring grinder at 20km and another big ringer at 500 meters to go. We woke up in the middle of the night to hear thunderstorms. The next morning, the rain still came down, clouds filled the sky, and the temperature was considerably lower than the 100 million degrees it had been for the days leading up to the race. Our village was a 90-minute drive from the course. By the time we got there the rain had stopped but the clouds and high wind stayed.

Yeah, I'm an athlete
"I've finally accepted the fact that I'm an athlete and a really good time trialist. And I want to make sure hat I can be the best time trialist in the world, instead of just top five. That's probably been my biggest breakthrough -- 'Yeah, I'm an athlete' -- and I'm finally getting that in my head" -- EE

I was the first to go off at 10AM. I headed out at 9AM on my beautiful Morgul Bismark TT bike to check out the wind, which remained fierce. Then, I got on the trainer to do my standard warm-up. The officials, meanwhile, were measuring the TT bike. I ended up having to go over with the bike to sit on it so they could measure my knee position over the pedal axle. It was fine. By this point, the race was 5 minutes to start. I got on the ramp after calming down from running around to get my warm-up finished and to the measuring station on time.

During the race I concentrated on keeping in a light enough gear rather than bogging down. We knew the tough part of the course would be the grinder at the 20km mark. It would be a head wind and it was a long shallow rise leading to the steeper part. Plus, as soon as we made the right onto that road the climb was very obvious in the distance. Mentally, it was a tough section. From the end of that rise, the course made a right into a park for 3km to go. The final climb was also a head wind. I made sure to stand up when I lost momentum.

I only knew I had done well because everyone in the follow car -- Juri Manis, Mike Fraysee, and Aaron Eppherson, were very happy. I thought I felt good and yet I was breathing super hard at the end and suffered a great deal. I guess that's the idea, because I finished ahead of Lynne Bissette, of Canada, and then, Mari (Holden, my US teammate) too, when she came in. I got on the trainer to cool down and Henny was trying to calculate Clara Hughes' (also of Canada) time to put her behind me. I got nervous. Henny was nervous. Juri was standing by the start/finish being nervous. The reporters hung around waiting.

Clara finally came through the finish and wasn't fast enough. I won. We all jumped up and down. With this win, I had qualified for the World's TT team. Here it is July and I know I'm going to World's. I can concentrate on being ready and fast on October 5th and not before that, for all the qualifying TTs. Lynne Bissette was second :19 back, Mari 3rd at :55, Clara 4th, Maureen Kaila-Vargara 5th.

I cooled down a bit on the trainer, then changed and headed over to drug testing. I thought I'd be able to pee right away with all the water I've been drinking, made the attempt and didn't produce enough. I sat back down, drank, and waited.

After finishing at the drug testing mobile home, we did awards. An old Canadian cyclist and the Canadian Minister of Sport gave us flowers and the medals (a big ass gold one for me). Then the three flags went up and the Star Spangled Banner came over the loudspeaker. Fumbling with my hat, glasses, and flowers I finally got it all together, figured out where the flag was, and thought how totally cool this all was.

 © 2000
 Elizabeth Emery
 John Tomlinson
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