USA Cycling has created a storytelling platform that is designed for members to be able to write personal columns about their experiences in cycling. The platform, called “In Our Own Words,” is being hosted on USA Cycling’s website.
According to a release from the federation, officials hope the site becomes a place to discuss topics that athletes often struggle to discuss: mental health, diversity and inclusion, clean sport, SafeSport, and other topics.
“The launch of In Our Own Words is one of many steps we are taking towards creating an open and inclusive environment where every cyclist is welcome,” said USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini in a release.
The page launched on Tuesday with three columns. One column, written 15-time cyclocross national champion Katie Compton, details the various health problems she has overcome during her career as a professional cyclist. Another column, written by retired pro Phil Gaimon, addresses his decision to seek psychological help after he battled anxiety and depression.
A third column, written by an anonymous author, details an athlete’s experience with sexual assault by a coach.
“In Our Own Words is aimed at giving our members a way to speak candidly about issues that
are important to them so that we can start having critical conversations and addressing common
issues within our community,” said Kelsey Erickson, SafeSport Director for USA Cycling, “We
are excited to provide a space for members to share their experiences and we hope that this
platform will evolve into place where our members can feel heard, recognized, supported and
able to engage in productive dialogue on the important issues raised.”
Cyclists who are interested in contributing their own columns can do so at the website.