Team Pursuit!

Q&A with Chloe Dygert, 2016 USA Olympian

by Rachel Davis

Chloe Dygert

Photo by Meredith Rogers

Chloé Dygert, 19 and from Brownsburg, Indiana, qualified for the summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to compete in the women’s track team pursuit, a cycling event. She attends Connection Pointe Christian Church. We asked her to tell us a little about her life where sports and faith meet.

Rachel Davis: Tell me about your journey to the Olympics.

Chloé Dygert: I started racing about four years ago, but I have only raced for three years due to an injury in 2014. In 2015 I came back in full force hoping to get somewhere in the sport. I qualified for the road Junior World Championships in June of that year after winning the Junior National road race and time trial. After winning gold twice at Junior Worlds, I was asked to come out and try track racing by coach Andy Sparks. It was the end of November 2015 when I went to my first track camp, and it was hard! But I worked really hard, so I was asked to come back and train for the World Cup in Hong Kong. With only about a month and a half of track knowledge, compared to racing on roads, I went and did my first event. We got third, but we also qualified for Track Cycling World Championships that were a little over a month away. We worked really hard as a team, and I learned so much and was getting better every day. We won the team pursuit at the World’s, and that’s how we qualified for Rio.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve experienced so far? How did you overcome those obstacles?

My biggest challenge was definitely learning how to ride in a tight smooth line and exchange positions smoothly with others on the team. I still struggle with this, but I make improvements every day I’m on the track. My teammates have been so helpful and patient with me as I’m learning. I’m so grateful for them!

Any athlete at this level of competition faces a pressure from a lot of places. How do you navigate the emotional, interpersonal and spiritual stressors that come your way?

I have a great support system. Some of my family visited to watch me train at the Olympic Training Center.  My fiancé, Logan Owens, is a cyclist, too, and he’s been there for me at every step. My teammates are so patient and encouraging. We all work together to make sure the stress and pressure is as low as possible

How has being an accomplished athlete impacted your faith life?

I miss church a lot! I’m so grateful that my home church has services online so I am able to watch them. Feeling comfortable with and knowing the pastor makes it so much easier for me to stay connected with God when I’m away. Then there’s the couple who runs Athletes and Action, with group sessions at races as well as video sermons for when we’re on the road for training or events.

Give me five words to describe your feelings about the upcoming Olympics:

Excited. Nervous. Scared. Happy. Nervous!

What’s next? What are your plans after leaving Rio?

After Rio I will take a little break, but then I’ll have to get right back to it in training for the Team Time Trial at the Road World Championships. After that I will be getting married!

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