The Bike Team (Track, Road and Mountain Bike) for Glasgow 2014 has been finalised! Kate Fluker, Pieter Bulling, Georgia Williams and Jaime Nielsen talk to us about what it means to be selected to represent New Zealand.
1. How does wearing the Silver Fern give you strength?
Kate: Knowing the whole country is behind me, backing me, wanting me to succeed gives me extra motivation and determination to find that little bit extra. You want to make NZ proud and the Silver Fern represents that.
Pieter: When I pull the Fern over my back and zip up my skin suit, I get a rush of adrenalin and pride of knowing Im continuing the tradition of what the silver fern represents.
Georgia: It gives me strength, as I'm racing for my country not just myself. I want to do the country proud as well. Especially at the Commonwealth Games where you know a lot if New Zealanders are at home watching you and cheering for you.
Jaime: Wearing the silver fern gives me strength through a sense of national pride and responsibility. You earn the right to wear it. It gives me strength because its a privilege and marker of a unique opportunity. Because its a shared identity it gives strength through unity such as in the Commonwealth Games where you identify with other kiwis in the village, and during racing you support and feed off seeing the Silver Fern in action.
2. What does representing New Zealand mean for you?
Kate: The opportunity to show the World that big dreams and big results can come from somewhere as small as New Zealand. It is a chance to honour your country. All the hard work training, racing, sacrifices leading up to this event has paid off.
Pieter: When I represent and ride for my country I feel have the full support from New Zealand behind me. It gives me great motivation and focus to give eveything a 120% and show the world what we can do.
Georgia: It is such an honour and achievement for me as very few people get to do it and the opportunity doesn't come up very often. It definitely makes all the hard work worth it.
Jaime: Representing NZ means Ive earned the privilege to compete outside of NZ, with an opportunity to compete against some of the best riders in the World. I see it as a reward for my training and as incentive to work harder. To succeed at this level is the ultimate goal and reward!
3. What are 3 attributes that every cyclist / mountain biker needs?
Kate: Mental strength, Motivation and Patience
Pieter: Focus/Determination, Good support network and a bit of mongrel and class
Georgia: Dedication, Motivation and Mental Toughness
Jaime: Determination, Dedication and Commitment plus having the physical attributes can probably be aligned to any sport. But more specifically: Knowing how to stay upright, having an outstanding lung capacity and leg strength and an essence of fearlessness.
4. How did you get into the sport?
Kate: My partner Reon has ridden the whole time I have known him but moving to Queenstown in 2009, I got on a bike to meet new people and to make some friends. I did my first race in 2010, the Motutapu, after training for half of the summer, I got 2nd and I was hooked.
Pieter: Laurie Tall noticed me at a sports day through my primary school, while we were doing a track day on Kew bowl. He lead me straight into the Cycling Southland track programme where my strength and determination grew. Throughout my junior career he mentored me and got me to where I am today.
Georgia: When I was about 14 I applied for a sports academy class at my high school and to get into the class you had to do some fitness testing. I did quite well in the beep test. I used to love cross-country running. From there, they sent all our results off to The Peter Snell Institute of Sport and called back me and 5 others back for more testing. One of the tests I did with them was on a bike which I guess I did well in as a got a letter a week later telling me that they think I would make a good track cyclist! Bit of a surprise for me as I knew nothing about track cycling. They offered me a 8 lesson with a coach. At the end of the 8 weeks the coach thought I had some talent so he offered me a years scholarship with a free bike and coaching. I was hooked from then on!
Jaime: I took up an opportunity to try track cycling in 2009 as part of the BikeNZ Power to the Podium Programme. I then entered in the national track championships where I earned a place in the NZ track team for the world championships. I was hooked.