KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Saturday, children joined the USA Olympic Cycling team for fun activities, including autograph signing and bike riding.
It was a much-needed break for the athletes and an exciting day for children ages 14 and younger. They got to meet some of the Olympic Athletes and ride their bikes across the finish line to receive a medal. The next generation of cyclists may have a few more years until they can compete in the National Championships but, they had a lot of fun trying to beat the Olympians.
“Today we had Olympic Day celebration and all the kids came out and it’s just wonderful to see such young excitement and we know all these people will be cheering for us back home,” said Emma White, a 2020 World Champion. “So it really just motivates us so much.”
The course on S. Gay Street went between Church Ave. and Cumberland Ave, was a little shorter than what the pros are used to. However, for young cyclists, like Everette, it proved to be fun and challenging for
“That track was very cool because I was super fast and then when I used my breaks on the turn and then when I was going to the finish I don’t use my breaks and then I just go,” Everette explained.
White said it was a good break with the Olympics just a short way away, “We’re going to be prepping for the next weeks and months. So this is a really nice way to kind of kick back and enjoy why we’re doing this.” She added, “so much passion and excitement and it’s so good to see because sometimes we lose track of that when it’s our job.”
Now she may have to watch out for her future competition.
“A lot of Tour De France ambitions,” White laughed. “A lot of people wanted to get to the top step of the podium. So I will be looking out for their names in the coming years.”
Everett came in first at this race. “So this is a golden medal if you complete the race,” he said clinging to the trophy around his neck. In a few years, his next gold medal could be at the Olympics.