Four cyclists will represent Washington at the Olympics, where state athletes have won three medals in previous Games.
Sportspress Northwest offers a series of biographical sketches of athletes with significant ties to Washington who will compete in the Olympic Games.
Today’s focus: Cycling.
Burien’s Jill Kintner is the most recent state-based cyclist to win an Olympic medal (bronze, 2008). Washington will be represented by four cyclists in London.
2012 CYCLING OLYMPIANS
TYLER FARRAR / Wenatchee
BORN: June 2, 1984, Wenatchee. RESIDENCE: Gent, Belgium. SPORT: Cycling. EVENT: Road Race. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (1st): 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Nominated by U.S. Cycling via discretionary selection. STATE CONNECTION: Native of Wenatchee.
Farrar has been a professional road cyclist since 2003 when he launched his career with the Jelly Bean team. Farrar rode for Health Net-Maxxis and then moved on Cofidis and raced for that outfit in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, he moved to Slipstream-Chipotleis, among other teams, most recently Garmin-Barracuda. Farrar has won stage races in some of cycling’s biggest events, including the Vuelta a Espana, Giro dItalia and Three Days of De Panne. On July 4, 2011, Farar became the first native of Washington to win a stage race in the Tour de France (stage 3, a flat, 198-kilometer run from Olonne Sur Mer to Redon). Farrar is extremely popular in Flanders because he is fluent in Dutch and resides in the Belgian city of Gent.
CAREER — 2011: Finished second overall in the Tour of Qatar after winning Stage 2 . . . Won Stages 2-3 of the Tour de France . . . Won Stage 2 of the Tirreno-Adriatico. 2010: Stages 5 and 21 of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana . . . Won Stages 2 and 10 of the Giro d’Italia . . . Won the Scheldeprijs . . . Won Stage 3 of the Three Days of De Panne . . . 2009: Won Stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana . . . Won the Vattenfall Cyclassics . . . Won Stages 1, 2 and 4 of theTour of Belgium . . . Won the Tour of New Zealand . . . 2008: Won the Tour of Bahamas . . . 2005: Won the 2005 National Criterium Championship.
PERSONAL: Farrar began cycling at 13 . . . Although Farrar lives in Gent, his family lives in Wenatchee . . . The 28-year-old Farrar has lived in Europe since he was 22.
ARIELLE MARTIN / Spanaway
BORN: July 30, 1985, Farmington, NM. RESIDENCE: Spanaway and Chula Vista, CA. SPORT: Cycling. EVENT: BMX. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (1st): 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Nominated by U.S. Cycling via discretionary selection. STATE CONNECTION: Spanaway resident.
Four years ago, Marin stood on the cusp of making her first Olympic team heading into the BMX World Championships in Taiyuan, China. Prior to that competition, only one point separated Martin from her friend and roommate Jill Kintner, a Seattle native. During the quarterfinals, Martin crashed, taking her out of Olympic contention and guaranteeing Kintner’s trip to Beijing, where Kintner won a bronze medal. Martin is one of just three riders to do a back flip on a BMX bike (October, 2007) and was the first American woman to win a BMX Supercross World Cup (2011).
CAREER: Had a best career finish in 2009 when she placed third at the UCI World BMX Championships at Adelaide, Australia . . . Finished sixth in the same event in 2008 and eighth in the 2010 worlds . . . Has two first-place finishes in the UCI Supercross World Cup event at Chula Vista, CA., in 2010, and in the UCI Supercross World Cup overall series in 2008 . . . Placed second in the 2008 USA Cycling BMX Championships in DeSoto, TX.
PERSONAL: Finished a degree in exercise science in 2007 at Brigham Young University . . . Married in December 2007 to Michael Verhaaren and has taken his name except for when she is involved in bike competitions . . . Verhaaren is an active duty Army sergeant and Black Hawk crew chief stationed at Joint Base Lewis MCChord.
JENNIE REED / Bellevue, University of Washington
BORN: April 28, 1978, Bellevue. RESIDENCE: Long Beach, CA. SPORT: Cycling. EVENT: Track. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (3rd): 2004, 2008, 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Nominated by U.S. Cycling via discretionary selection. STATE CONNECTION: Bellevue native, University of Washington.
Jennie Reed’s father introduced her to track cycling at 16 at the Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond. She proved to be a quick study and won the match sprint and two-kilometer pursuit titles at the 1994 USA Cycling Juniors Track National Championships. She won the national title in the pursuit the following year (1995) before placing second in 1996. Reed competed in the Juniors Track World Championships to cap each of those seasons.
Reed graduated from Issaquah High School in 1996 and enrolled at the University of Washington. During her first semester, she was invited by USA Cycling to compete with the national development program. She won her first national title as a senior level racer at the 1998 U.S. National Track Championships.
OLYMPICS: The 5-foot-7, 170-pound Reed finished 10th (out of 12) in the match sprint in 2004 in Athens and had a seventh-place showing in the same event in 2008.
CAREER: Has won 24 international track cycling medals, including four gold, 12 silver and eight bronze . . . Is a 14-time USA Cycling national champion . . . Named USA Female Cycling Athlete of the Year in 1998 and 2011 . . . Won the gold medal in Keirin at the 2008 World Championships in Manchester, England, becoming the first American to win a world title in that discipline . . . Took first place in Keirin at the 2008 UCI Track World Cup in Los Angeles . . . Took first place in Keirin at the 2007 Pan American Championships in Rio de Janeiro . . . Took first place in Keirin at the 2004 UCI Track World Cup in Manchester, England . . . Won the silver medal in women’s team pursuit at the 2011 World Championships at Apeldoom, Netherlands.
PERSONAL: Enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends over a good cup of coffee, downhill skiing, inline skating and backpacking.
TEJAY VAN GARDEREN / Tacoma
BORN: Aug. 12, 1988, Tacoma. RESIDENCE: Lucca, Tuscany. SPORT: Cycling. EVENT: Road Race. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (1st): 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Nominated by U.S. Cycling via discretionary selection. STATE CONNECTION: Tacoma native.
Since becoming a senior-level rider in 2008, Van Garderen has affiliated with four teams, including Dutch Rabobank Continental (2008), Team HTC (2009), HTC-Highroad (2011) and BMC Racing (2012). Van Garderen grew up in Bozeman, MT., and began bike riding seriously as a 14-year-old.
He showed enough promise that USA Cycling picked him to participate in its National Developmental Program in 2006. He started his first major race at age 18 in the 2007 Tour of California as a part of the national team but pulled out during Stage 4.
He won a number of junior national championships, including time trial titles in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Throughout 2007, he rode less in the U.S. and more in Europe, which led to a spot on the Dutch Rabobank Continental team for the 2008-09 seasons.
CAREER — 2012: Had his best career finish with a fourth-place overall showing at the Amgen Tour of California . . . 1st place, Best Young Rider Classification, Paris-Nice . . . (2011): Finished third in the Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado . . . 2010: Won Stage 1 of the Vuelta a Espana . . . 2009: Placed first overall in the Tour du Haut Anjou . . . Won Stage 5 of the Olympia’s Tour . . . 2008: Won Stage 9 of the Tour de l’Avenir.
PERSONAL: Raced in the 2012 Tour de France . . . In the off-season likes to ride mountain bikes, hang out with his girlfriend and eat cake, a no-no during the cycling season . . . Influenced to take up cycling by his father, an amateur cyclist.
CYCLING MEDALS BY WASHINGTONIANS
GOLD: None. SILVER: Rebecca Twigg (Seattle), road race, 1984 Los Angeles. BRONZE: Twigg, pursuit, 1992 Barcelona; Jill Kintner (Burien), BMX, 2008 Beijing.
The athletes with connections to the state who have qualified (or been selected) to the Games.
|Athlete||Sport||Gms. #||Country||State Connection|
|Nathan Adrian||Swimming||2||USA||Bremerton native|
|Scott Baynes||Basketball||1||Australia||WSU grad|
|Sue Bird||Basketball||3||USA||Seattle Storm guard|
|Kim Butler||Basketball||1||G. Britain||Bellarmine Prep|
|Dave Calder||Rowing||4||Canada||University of Washington|
|Will Crothers||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Tyler Farrar||Cycling||1||USA||Wenatchee native|
|Amanda Furrer||Shooting||1||USA||Mead High, Spokane|
|Scott Gault||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Rob Gibson||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Lauren Jackson||Basketball||4||Australia||Seattle Storm forward|
|Anthony Jacob||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Ebba Jungmark||Track||2||Sweden||WSU grad|
|Seth Kelsey||Fencing||3||Canada||Brush Prairie|
|Ariana Kukors||Swimming||1||USA||Auburn Mountainview|
|Meagan Kalmoe||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Bernard Lagat||Track||4||USA||Washington State University|
|Giuseppe Lanzone||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Amy LePeilbet||Soccer||1||USA||Spokane native|
|Adrienne Lyle||Equestrian||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Adrienne Martelli||Rowing||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Arielle Martin||Cycling||1||USA||Spanaway native|
|Conlin McCabe||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Tamari Miyashiro||Volleyball||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Haley Nemra||Track||2||Marshall Is.||Marys.-Pilchuck|
|Brett Newlin||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Kara Patterson||Track||2||USA||Seattle native|
|Jennie Reed||Cycling||3||USA||Seattle native|
|Jarred Rome||Track||2||USA||Marys.-Pilchuck High|
|Janine Sandell||Volleyball||1||Great Britain||University of Washington|
|Hope Solo||Soccer||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Travis Stevens||Judo||2||USA||Bellevue native|
|Courtney Thompson||Volleyball||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Aretha Thurmond||Track||4||USA||University of Washington|
|Queen Underwood||Boxing||1||USA||Seattle resident|
|Eric Uptagrafft||Shooting||1||USA||Spokane resident|
|Tejay van Garderen||Cycling||1||USA||Tacoma native|
|Brad Walker||Track||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Mary Whipple||Rowing||3||USA||University of Washington|