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Cyclist disappointed but still thankful

BEIJING (BP)–U.S. cyclist Amber Neben was in sixth place with one lap to go in the women’s road race Aug. 10, but trouble with her chain led to a disappointing 33rd-place finish in the event.

“I dropped my chain about halfway up the climb on the second circuit,” Neben told BP. “I don’t know why it happened, since I was conscious of which gear I was in in the rear, but it did. Unfortunately, it happened at a very critical moment in the race. I never gave up, but it was just too big of a gap to make up.”

The women’s road race consists of 78.8 kilometers in a point-to-point distance, followed by two laps of 23.8 kilometers each -– for a total distance of just over 126 kilometers.

Neben admitted that the result was a letdown.

“I was very disappointed,” she said. “It is one thing if you just don’t have the legs on the day. However, I didn’t even get the chance to try, and that’s what hurts.”

Despite the outcome, Neben said she trusts the Lord’s plans and purposes for her.

“I also have to be thankful in all circumstances,” Neben said. “I will continue to persevere and wait. The Olympics are not the mountaintop, and there is still much to do and try to achieve within the sport and as an ambassador for Christ.

“I am truly thankful and blessed to be able to do what I do. And keeping things in perspective, I am an Olympian. That’s a very special thing.”
Tim Ellsworth, director of news and media relations at Union University, is covering the 2008 Olympics in Beijing for Baptist Press. To see a previous Baptist Press report on Neben, go here.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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