After competing at the 1972 Winter Olympics as a member the U.S. speed skating team at the age of 14, Connie Carpenter went on to become the first American to win a cycling medal at the Olympics, since Carl Schutte took the bronze in 1912. Beating her teammate Rebecca Twigg by eight inches in a sprint to the finish line, Connie dug deep on a day that hit 92 degrees by 9:30 in the morning. At this first ever Olympic cycling event for women, Carpenter swept the gold just days before her husband Davis Phinney won the Olympic bronze at the men's team time trial, and then she retired from an eight year career as a professional cyclist. This year, in addition to running the Carpenter/Phinney Bike Camp, Connie and Davis will be supporting their son Taylor at the Olympic games in London, where he'll be riding the time trial and the road race for the U.S. team.
In her first year competing as a cyclist, Carpenter won two national championships–on the road and on the track–before securing ten more national championships in additional to four world titles. Retiring at the age of 27, to support her husband's athletic endeavors, Connie gave birth to Taylor in 1990. (And followed with daughter Kelsey who was born in 1993.)
Before being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 40 in 1999, Davis Phinney had a stellar racing career that includes being the second American to win a stage at the Tour de France while riding for the 7-Eleven Cycling Team in 1986.
Davis Phinney, Stage 3 of the 1986 Tour de France (credit)
Taylor, a natural born rider on the track and time-trialist, joined Team Slipstream's Junior Team at the age of 15, and began his racing career with a win at the Junior World Time Trial Championship in 2007. In 2008, he swept the events at Juniors National track competition, winning the Individual Pursuit, the 1000m Time Trial and the Team Pursuit; and in 2010 he joined the BMC Racing Team before becoming the National Time Trial Champion. After dominating the Individual Time Trial at this year's Giro d'Italia, Taylor, age 22, is favored for this summer's London Olympics.
Taylor riding the Elite Men's Time Trial in the UCI Road World Championships (photo credit)
At the Olympic Road events that take place July 28-August 1st, you can watch Taylor compete against his BMC teammate–who finished the 2012 Tour de France in the white jersey (for the best young rider under the age of 26)–Tejay van Garderen; but you can also follow Taylor's Tweets and blog posts, or fill his glass with Gurrutxaga Txakolina 2011, while he watches the TdF at a supporting event for the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge...
Taylor Phinney at the BRAC party on July 19th
...alongside his mother Connie, who with Davis also run's the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's.
From last week's BRAC party, our friend Jessica van Garderen (yes, Tejay's wife and a two-time U.S. Elite National Road Champion herself) sent us this photo with Connie.
Connie Carpenter (center) with Jessica van Garderen (right)
We look forward to meeting them all at the BRAC, August 20-22 in Aspen, Colorado.