USA Cycling has a determined goal to win more medals than ever in the Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo. How does it plan to achieve this goal? The leading body must identify American cyclists with the best odds of international success. Fans from all over the world can buy Olympic Track Cycling Tickets online.
It’s a tougher challenge for USA cycling to pick its Olympians than you might think. Choosing the correct riders is a balancing act that must evaluate real results and potential for future success and in some cases factor in the ability to contribute to a team effort.
USA Cycling’s Vice President of Elite Athletics Scott Schnitzspahn has worked over the past years to improve the way the leading body chooses its athletes. Schnitzspahn joined USA Cycling in 2017 after 7 years with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), where he learned how to build a system aimed at winning medals.
“I was very familiar with the process and what we’d been doing. It was a very easy transition for me to come into this role, Coming into the door I kind of knew what the issues were and where we could address them, and I have really tried to do that.”
Athletes can secure Olympic spots in one of two ways. First, they can score an automatic spot on the team by meeting one of several exceedingly challenging criteria. Usually, an automatic bid comes after a triumph or string of top results at major international races. Frequently, a few riders meet these challenging requirements.
Thus, USA Cycling has an additional way to make the team: A selection committee chooses the athletes. Comprised of 9 volunteer members, this independent selection committee decides USA Cycling’s final list for each sport. It’s not an easy task—USA Cycling staff considers in on the final decisions.
An Olympic selection has not always been an easy procedure for either fans or athletes to understand. Schnitzspahn hopes that better-defined selection criteria across each discipline will make the country more competitive and make the process more clear.
“If you look at the selections that have been made over the past Games, they’ve been great selections. We’ve won a lot of medals; I think the issue was really more about the transparency behind it and communicating the process and making it clearer for the athletes.”
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