In the realm of professional cycling, expectations often soar as high as mountain peaks. Amid these, an athlete’s journey stands out as a testament to resilience and unexpected triumphs. An enigmatic mathematician has just measured her moves into the world of professional cycling and has transcended all boundaries of expectations to reach the zenith.

Although she has achieved fears that were ironically not even a part of her lifelong dreams, often bearing and managing the heavy weight of gold medals becomes tough. In a recent interview, she reflected upon her unconventional journey and the challenges of handling post-Olympic expectations. 

Olympic champs post-victory challenge 


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Anna Kiesenhofer started as a mathematician, but her life soon changed its path. She embarked on this expedition as an amateur cyclist, but soon she stepped into professional cycling and grabbed the throne of an Olympic champion. In 2020, Kiesenhofer won the gold medal in Tokyo in the women’s road race, leaving fans stunned. Kiesenhofer defeated Annemiek van Vleuten, who celebrated her win unaware of the fact that Kiesenhofer had crossed the finish line about 75 seconds ago. Besides her victory in Tokyo, she continued to have a series of winning moments

But after she achieved such a position, the world started to measure all her moves against the backdrop of Olympic glory. At present, Kiesenhofer is now a part of the Israel-Premier Tech Roland in 2023. The 32-year-old cyclist candidly reflected on the challenges that she has been facing to keep up with the levels of fans’ expectations and her performance.

Despite her relentless efforts, she has been continuously put under scrutiny and judgment. She shared in a recent interview with Cyclingnews, that her finishing a race in the 15th position is getting perceived as a disappointment. But Kiesenhofer shared, “To be honest, it did affect the expectations both from other people and myself. Myself not that much because I know that, genetically, I haven’t changed since the Olympics. It’s just that other people know me now, but I’m the same person that I was before. It doesn’t make sense to think that now, magically, my watts will massively go up only because I have an Olympic gold medal; that’s not the case, but people think that.”

Kiesenhofer shared that despite everything, she has always remained unchanged at the core and remained true to herself. She is disappointed at the way how people want her to always be on the top just because she has been the Olympic champion. She further added, It was sometimes hard to deal with that because anything I did was framed as a disappointment – everyone was measuring it with Olympic gold.”

But she also stated how her unyielding spirit has ably navigated the ongoing storm. She has arrived at a juncture where she is just focussing on personal progress by not letting any external force disturb her growth.

Anna Kiesenhofer’s evolution beyond Olympic glory


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Although Kiesenhofer has achieved a milestone that millions of cyclists aim for, she candidly stated that being an Olympic champion was never her childhood ambition. She unapologetically shared how her notions and mindset have changed, “It might sound a bit strange, but it was never a childhood dream of mine to become an Olympian. Now that I’m more in the sports bubble before I was an amateur, and now I’m a professional cyclist, I see the value more because everybody wants to be at the Olympics. In that sense, there is kind of additional motivation to be there just because I see how much everybody wants to be there, I see more of the hype.”

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Her recent contract with the Israel-Premier Tech Roland has provided her with a different picture. She is now a part of a team and is deeply immersed in the athletic world. The Austrian cyclist also added how the dynamic world of cycling changed with time. “In general, women’s cycling has just developed so much, so it’s very hard to compare. In 2017, when I signed with Lotto Soudal, I didn’t actually do many races because I was in a bad moment in my life in general”, added Kiesenhofer.


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Kiesenhofer’s words truly revealed that standing atop the podium does not always make life easier. Her determination to stay true to herself and work towards progress comes out to be truly inspirational for many.

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