Capital Region’s Emma White on the Olympic USA Track Cycling Team

Duanesburg native Emma White, 23, will be competing on the USA Track Cycling Team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Graduating from Union College in 2019, White was an interdepartmental major in Computer Science / Science, Medicine and Technology.

From her USA Cycling biography:

“She started racing at 9 years old with her brother Curtis White and quickly developed a reputation in the Northeast as a top road and cyclocross racer. Her results garnered her place on the United States National team as well as the squad to race cyclocross. As a junior she developed into one of the best riders in the world, capping a brilliant junior career with dual silver medals at the 2015 UCI World Championships. In addition to moving into the professional ranks in 2016, she started her first year of college at Union College in Schenectady, New York. White eventually transitioned to racing on the track. In 2020, she and her teammates won the Women’s Team Pursuit World Championships.”

We had the honor of interviewing White, and in the coming weeks we will be posting the discussions we had, along with some facts of the sport and updates as she heads to the Tokyo Olympics! This first set of interview questions revolve around her past and personal history.

Team USA after winning the World Championships in Berlin, who will all be participating in the Olympic Team Pursuit. From left to right, Chloé Dygert, Lily Williams, Emma White, and Jennifer Valente. Team USA’s Megan Jastrab, not in the photo, will join them in Tokyo.

Q: From a cycling perspective, what are you entered in as an Olympian in Japan?

A: I’m on the track, the velodrome, and my event is the team pursuit. I’m actually only on the track with my team, and another team is on the other side of the track, so it’s a lot safer than the Masters races that you see. I haven’t tried those yet, and I’m not sure what it would take for me to get me there, those do freak me out.


Q: How did you get into this particular type of cycling? Where would you have had the opportunity to learn and hone those skills? Are there a lot of velodromes in Duanesburg?

A:  No, absolutely not. I’ve only raced road and cyclocross in New England up until 2018. I was invited to Colorado Springs for a Talent ID camp with USA Cycling, and that was actually my first time on the Velodrome. So I’ve only ever trained here, Colorado Springs, and in LA with the team. There’s a UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) track at UCLA, and I think it is actually the only UCI track in the whole country.


Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

A: That’s a good question. You know, I always love coming back home. I know it’s not an exciting answer, but the northeast area I truly, realistically, would never live anywhere other than that. Even after traveling everywhere. However, if I were to pick somewhere fun, I would definitely go to Scotland. That’s been my favorite place to race, but I think I would still want to come home after that.


Q: In your career and your development, what keeps you motivated?

A: I started pretty young – I started racing kid races at 10 with my older brother Curtis. The help we’ve had along the way with CBRC, the Capital Bicycle Racing Club, and the local teams I’ve been a part of – I’ve just had so much help from different clubs and teams and people who’ve helped to get me where I am. So, I definitely feel that every result I get I owe this to the people who have helped me along the way.


Q: When you’re not doing all your training, cycling, and racing, what do you do to relax and enjoy outside of that world?

A: Right now it’s pretty few and far between when I can really relax, but I love to go home and spend time with my family and friends. It feels like everything changes when I go home and there’s something like a new restaurant in town – it feels like it’s so long. Every time I go back there’s always something new that pops up, so I really love spending time with my family and friends.

Emma White will be heading to LA on July 17th for her final week of preparations before heading to Tokyo on July 25th.

Days until the Olympics begins: 7 days

Days until Track Cycling begins: 17 days

We encourage everyone to tune into the Olympics to root on White as she competes in the Team Pursuit. You can find the Team Pursuit Qualifying Round broadcasted on USA Network (Channels 181/781) starting on Monday, August 2nd at 6am EST, and a replay of this event on USA Network beginning on Monday, August 2nd at 12:15pm EST. Can’t watch live due to early hours? Check out NBC periodically for events rebroadcasted during primetime, or set your DVR to record the event!


Check back next Friday for the next set of interview questions!

View the complete Tokyo 2020 Olympics Track Cycling Competition Schedule here.