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The story of Anna Kiesenhofer: From PhD in mathematics to being Olympics 2021 cycling champion

Cycling - Road - Olympics: Day 2
Cycling - Road - Olympics: Day 2
Godwin  Mathew

Several records and surprise winners have popped up at the Olympics 2021. Anna Kiesenhofer's win in women's road cycling was one such odds-defying moment. The Austrian upset several favorites to grab gold in the event. Here is the inspiring journey of Anna Kiesenhofer.

Kiesenhofer started off with triathlon

The Austrian actively participated in triathlon from 2011 to 2013. But the excruciating event requires extreme stamina, with injuries being a regular phenomenon. Quitting the triathlon, Kiesenhofer turned her focus to cycling in 2014.

Kiesenhofer is a PhD holder

The newly crowned cycling champion holds a PhD in mathematics. She was a student at the University of Vienna and also went to Cambridge University. The cyclist acquired a doctorate from the University of Catalonia in 2016. She is currently pursuing post-doctoral research in mathematics at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Kiesenhofer came to the Olympics without a professional contract

Anna Kiesenhofer joined a Catalan team in 2016. She had a stunning race that year in a French competition that won her the silver medal. She signed her first professional contract with the Lotto-Soudal Ladies. But a string of disappointing results forced her to cancel the contract and take a year off.

She made her comeback in 2019. Kiesenhofer won the time trial championships and came 20th in the World Championships time trial. Despite these performances, she couldn't earn another professional contract. With her win in Tokyo, this is bound to change.

Kiesenhofer's stunning victory

In a strategic move, Kiesenhofer pedaled way ahead of the peloton in Tokyo. She maintained a steady gap, leading other cyclists to believe they were in front. As she crossed the finish line, the rest of the field was still over a minute away. The Austrian just fell to the ground in jubilation as she celebrated a splendid win.

Also Read: Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule


Edited by SANJAY K K

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