Former Olympians Quit Jobs to Cycle From Switzerland to New Zealand

By Reuters
May 1, 2018World News
Former Olympians Quit Jobs to Cycle From Switzerland to New Zealand
(IOC VNR via Reuters)

Former Olympians Emma Twigg and Rebecca Wardell and rower Sarah Van Ballekom started a bike ride which they hope will take them from Switzerland back home to New Zealand on Monday, April 30.

The three women had been working at IOC headquarters in Lausanne but have quit their jobs in order to make the huge journey, which they believe will take them a year to complete.

“The trip was born a few years ago when Rebecca and I were out riding and I suggested that she should ride back to New Zealand, and it just happens that the three of us are now in a position to go and do it together, and what better way than to do it with two great mates and make a real adventure of it,” Twigg said.

“It started just as a massive adventure. Let’s see if we can cycle from Switzerland to New Zealand. Then it became more about us connecting with people along the way, connecting with Olympians, and also raising money for aspiring young sporting women back in New Zealand,” added Wardell.

IOC President Thomas Bach was present as the trio started their journey and waved them off.

”Extremely proud and happy for them that they can undertake such a tour in the true Olympic spirit and I truly wish them all the very best and you can see them in great shape and all the Olympic determination. That’s a fantastic experience,” Bach said.

The 18,000-kilometer (11,184-mile) trip will take them across Europe, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, China and South East Asia before cycling the length of New Zealand.

Former rower Twigg—who competed at the Olympics in Beijing, London, and Rio de Janeiro, heptathlete Wardell—who represented her country at the Beijing games—and Van Ballekom, a former university rower, are hoping to meet up with as many Olympians as possible over the course of the trip.


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