Stephen Ettinger Election Statement


Stephen Ettinger
Mountain Bike Committee - Eligible Athlete (Male)

Hello USAC Members,

I am running for the XC male athlete position on the Mountain Bike Committee because I believe I have a unique perspective on racing both domestically and internationally, which can be used to help grow the sport here at home, and make us more competitive around the world. Until just two years ago I was traveling to races around the country on my own dollar, often with my dad in tow, being supported by a central Washington bike shop. I would sleep on floors, work on my own bike, attend managers meetings and rely on friends for feed and technical support. I knew very few people in the industry, and although I was young, I developed an intimate understanding of what its like for the vast majority of competitive mountain bikers in the US. To race here, one must juggle work, school, and training, as well as the financial and logistical costs of making it to races. I know all to well the frustrations and trials that come with racing self-supported here in the US, but also hold the same motivations and passion that keep everyone doing it year after year.

In 2009 I was fortunate enough to be invited to a USAC Mountain Bike Development camp in Germany my second year as a U23. I paid a team fee and bought my own plane ticket, and finished at the back of the races. That same year I also competed in my first Elite World Cups in Mont Ste Anne and Bromont, Quebec. I was lapped half way through each race, but those trips opened my eyes to international racing. In just two years a lot has changed for me. I found the energy and support to train more, and after winning the U23 National Championships, finishing in the top 5 at multiple U23 World Cups, and being a member of the 2011 Pan American Games Team in Guadalajara, Mexico, I signed my first Pro contract last fall. I have spent most of the 2012 season in Europe, racing World Cups and BMC Racing Cups (the Swiss National Series) in an attempt to make the London Olympic Team. I’ve seen how those races succeed, why the level of competition is so much higher, and why there is so much support for both amateurs and professionals alike in Europe.

This journey has given me endless, fresh ideas of how to improve the racing experience for everyone here in the US. I want to work with my constituency and other interest groups to make this more rewarding for everyone. In turn I hope we can grow both the sport and level of competition, introduce new ideas, and ensure we do this while preserving the aspects of this sport we all love!

This Article Updated July 16, 2012 @ 02:01 PM For more information contact: