Paralympic Cycling TrialsCotie Williams
The time trial for the opportunity to represent Team USA in Tokyo at the Paralympic Games is finally here. It has been a long journey and a lot of my friends and family have sacrificed so much for me to be able to go for this goal. I have a passion for riding my bike and getting faster but, a passion without that support is nothing to me. My wife has been there from day 1 and has seen me grow in this sport. Without her support of me training and traveling as much I do, I would definitely not even be here with the hope of making the 2021 Paralympic Roster. So, if they have been there for me, all I can do is give it my all and give my family something to cheer loud for.
The prep is done and the training is complete. All I can do now is trust in all the we have done to this point. The day before the race I was extremely nervous. I needed to just keep myself in a good headspace and keep any negative thoughts or emotions out. I have been working very hard for this opportunity and it is hard to think that if you don’t accomplish this goal you may let people down. But, that is where the mental strength comes in and the trust that my loved ones will be proud of me no matter what. And, the fact that I am doing this for me. I am showing them what is possible and how hard you need to work to accomplish a dream, but ultimately, I am doing this for me.
Morning of the time trial, there is no more time for nerves. It is time to go. It is a day I get to ride my bike. And even though I have ridden the course throughout the week, today I get to ride the course as fast as I can. I am ready and I am excited. All riders are going off in 2 minute splits so the course should be clear for the entire 17 Kilometers. Meagan has been with me here for most of the week and I am glad she is here today to help me get prepared. And especially to have someone in my corner here with me. She is my cheerleader. As I wait for my start I can hear the announcer announce times I need to beat as well as watch my competition start their rides for the same opportunity. Now its my time and today is my day. 5….4….3….2….1….GO!!! No more time to think, just be smart and ride fast.
As I cross the finish line I feel good. I know that was fast. And, on course I passed the rider that started 2 minutes before I did. I am exhausted as I have left everything out on the course and anything I had left was expelled on the final climb to the line. I am exhausted, but not too exhausted to hear the announcer say “Ryan Pinney’s time 25:06 with a new best standard of 93.5%” Wow, I am sitting on the top of the leaderboard. I am just so thankful for this opportunity. I am so thankful to God no matter the result. No matter what, today I showed what was possible after a traumatic event in ones life and if you work hard for it. No matter what the results I praise God. For today though, I finished 2nd on the overall ranking list. Which means…
I AM GOING TO TOKYO!!!!!!