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Firstly – THANK YOU for everyone who has donated and offered encouraging words.  My emotions and feelings have been all over the map.  By now you’ve probably read the articles and interviews.

Why am I in need of help some have asked… to be honest and put it simply the cost to challenge (arbitrate) against USA Cycling will be between 1/4 and 1/2 of my annual salary.  As a professional female cyclist I don’t have endorsement deals and supplemental income.  I certainly don’t earn six figures, I consider myself lucky to be earning 5!  Our sport is certainly evolving with more races available live online and sometimes on TV but we are far from where the mens side of the sport is.  Simply put I need help to pay the legal fee’s associated with challenging my non-selection to the Olympic team.

I am fighting this selection for the simple fact that all my involvement with USA Cycling and everything I’ve ever been told by them said race in Europe, do the big races, do the hard races and race against the best in the world.  This year leading up to the Olympics I took that to heart.  I went to Europe before the Spring and came home just before the National Championships at the end of May.  I did the hard races, I raced against the best and I had good consistent results.

National Championships is a race with the best professional women in the United States.  It’s one of the few times a year we race against one another (it should be considered an Olympic Trials just like Swimming or Track and Field).  I took my whole first half of the season and put my full ability on the road and succeeded.  I beat the best and I beat them by a large margin.  Unfortunately this event isn’t even considered in the USA Cycling Olympic Selection process.

Perhaps I should of stayed in the US racing for a domestic team and had the potential to win these races.  I choose the harder path, the path that had the most potential for real world outcomes in terms of fitness, results, competition and difficulty.  USA Cycling has a goal to succeed in international completion on an international stage.  Their selection process outlined that but didn’t enforce it.  They chose an athlete who hasn’t raced outside the United States since she was in London!

There were rationalizations – they had just raced Tour of California and weren’t able to recover… it was too humid… Rio is humid, the road race there is just a few days before the Time Trial.  If you aren’t willing to go and give it your all for each event and you admit you can’t recover in time to be your best should you really be representing your country in the Olympics?

All the women who were chosen are fantastic and fierce competitors.  Only one of them earned her spot automatically.  One of them didn’t even compete in the National Championships.  I did all that was asked of me by our National Governing Body for the Sport of Cycling.  I’ve done all they have asked for years.  I left their track program because it wasn’t for me.  I put myself at their mercy every year.

There are personalities there just like everywhere else and it’s been written about and published the conflict of interest the person who oversees the whole athletics operations has.  For USA Cycling I have brought home medals twice at the PanAm Championships and once at Worlds.  To discount my ability to perform at the international level is complete insanity.

I ask you in the interest of the future of this sport for professional women – help me go to court, help me to change the system.  Help me be heard and help me realize my Olympic goals.  If I didn’t believe I can make a difference in Rio I wouldn’t go through all of this stress, emotions and chaos.

Thank you,

Carmen Small – Olympic Hopeful

If you believe in what’s possible and want to help please visit the funding page.

USPRO Time Trial Championships, Winston-Salem, NC

USPRO Time Trial Championships, Winston-Salem, NC

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