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Sport Spotlight: Vanessa Quinn

Name: Vanessa Quin
Age: 29
Sport: Downhill Mountain Biking
Hails from: Tauranga, New Zealand
Day Job: Mountain Biker

Vanessa was a BMX National Champ at 14 and a mountain biker from age 19. Soon after that she become National Champ, before winning the Downhill Mountain Bike World Championship in 2004 and gaining the world No.1 ranking last year.

Find out all about this inspiring nzgirl here…

How did you get started with downhill riding?
I raced BMX as a kid and some friends took me on a mountain bike ride in Auckland and I was hooked from there. I started racing downhill soon after and have not stopped for the last 10 years.

What’s your fave track?
I love the 2004 World’s track in Les Gets France. Mt Saint Anne World Cup course is also a fav because it is so hard.

Is there a race (overseas) that you are dying to get into just so you can go to that country?
I would love to see more world cup races back in the US as I love to visit here, especially up in the mountains in Colorado.

What are your top 3 destinations?
America, Italy and France

What do you see as your greatest achievement results wise?
I think racing at the top level every year and getting better all the time is a big one but winning the Worlds would have to top them all.

What was the biggest hurdle you have overcome?
Injury and home sickness are the hardest parts of being an athlete who competes mainly overseas in a sport like downhill. But having email keeps me in touch and learning that injuries are something you can overcome with proper rest means I have learnt to deal with these hurdles.

How do you overcome any anxiety that may arise before an event?
Being nervous can be a good thing before a race so I take this as it comes and just try to relax as much as possible.

Who has been your main inspiration in life (athlete/family/friend etc)?
My family and friends have all inspired me but I think the world’s top motocross racers like Ricky Carmichael and Stephan Everts are a big inspiration, along with New Zealander Star Josh Coppins. They all have a determined quality that I know makes a champion

How do you relax?
I like to go shopping! and listen to music but not the soft kind. Swimming at the beach is also something I love to do in summer.

What would be your ultimate indulgence?
Chocolate cake and milk shakes! I’m kind of allergic to sugar (it makes me hypo, then very tired) so I don’t get to eat these things much anymore.

What are your long-term plans?
Race for as long as I still love it, build a house become a journalist and have babies!

What makes you smile?
The sun or the rain depending on where I am

Quick Q&A

  • Fave TV show: LOST
  • Fave colour: Blue
  • Pets: Cat and Dog
  • Song you play to death: AFI’s new one, ‘Miss Murder’
  • Can’t-live-withouts: A hair tie, hoodie, toothbrush and my flip flops

    Any advice/final words for nzgirls?
    Keep at whatever you love to do even if those around you say you won’t make it… so long as you stick with it you can do anything… I promise!


    Photos supplied courtesy of Graeme Murray

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