In this second week of competition, the 30th Olympiad has not lacked in exciting match-ups and captivating competitions. The fiercest competitors have battled to the finish line to make their country proud, and unlikely hopefuls have earned gold metals. These athletes have undoubtedly touched our hearts with their tireless effort and amazing spirit, making that extra mile on the treadmill a little more bearable. We know these athletes have endured hours of training to become both physically and mentally prepared. What we many not know about are the obstacles that some athletes have had to overcome in order to make it to London. Many athletes knew they were meant to compete when they played a sport for the first time as a young child or when they watched past Olympians on TV. However, not every competitor’s Olympic aspirations has been a journey from childhood, for some it has been the destination.
U.S. cyclist, Dotsie Bausch’s road to London has been just that. For her cycling is more than just a sport - it was been an outlet of hope that saved her from a life-threatening battle with an eating disorder. During her senior year of college, Dotsie began modeling in New York City. She found herself turning to anorexia and bulimia to cope with the pressure to be thin. Her 5-foot 9 frame shrunk from 139 pounds to a mere 90, and after a failed suicide attempt, Dostie hit rock bottom. It wasn’t until her therapist suggested she try cycling as a different way to channel her energy that she began to break the cycle that nearly took her life. After her first ride she found not only a new form of recovery but that she had an uncommon talent and an insatiable desire to compete.
Four years later and with her health and weight back on track, Dotsie was recruited by the U.S. national team and went on to become a two-time Pam Am Championship gold medal winner. And now, in her 12th year as a bike racer she can add silver medalist to her list of achievements. Along with her team of Sarah Hammer and Lauren Tammyo, the cyclists competed in the 3-kilometer race, which lead to an amazing finish for team USA.
Achieving what most of us can only dream of, Dotsie’s medal will undoubtedly serve as a symbol of strength and personal healing for her and an inspiration to many others who have battled eating disorders. Through her journey, Dotsie has visited Canada and Ecuador to help develop centers that assist people with eating disorders. One of her personal passions is to extend emotional support through motivational speaking to men and women who struggle with anorexia and bulimia. For Dotsie and many other athletes, the sport in which they compete is not just a competition to achieve international greatness, but a celebration of their personal journey to the finish line. It is truly amazing to witness Olympians’ unrelenting bravery and an inspiration to many.