Name: Tara Whitten
Sport: Track Cycling
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Favorite Sports Memory: Carrying the Canadian flag into the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.
How you got involved in your sport: After over 10 years competing nationally and internationally in cross country skiing, but failing to qualify for the 2006 Olympics, a good friend suggested that I try Track Cycling. I did it at first just for fun, but soon realized that I had potential in the sport and committed fully to it.
The moment you knew you wanted to represent Canada: When I was a young kid watching the Olympics on TV with my family, I always dreamed that I would represent Canada. At the time my plan was to invent a new sport, which would eventually become a part of the Olympics I would be the best in the world at it (since I had invented it!)
Favorite Quote: “A lot of people run the race to see who is fastest; I run to see who has the most guts.” ~ Steve Prefontaine
CAN Fund Testimonial: For me the CAN Fund means that I can go into the 2012 Olympics knowing that I have done everything possible to be the best I can be. Specifically, this year I will use the funding to buy a power meter for my road bike to make my training analysis more precise, and to buy a scooter for motor pacing to increase my aerobic capacity and efficiency at high speeds, simulating race situations.
Best Result: Gold at the 2011 Track World Championships (Omnium), and the 2010 Track World Championships (Omnium and Points Race), and Gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (Road Time Trial)
I have put my PhD in Neuroscience on hold to pursue my goal of Gold at the 2012 Olympics. I competed for 13 years in Cross Country skiing before making the switch to track cycling, including representing Canada at the 2005 Nordic World Championships. Another sport I tried and really loved was rowing, but I am too short!