August 23/04 4:49 am - Olympics: Interview with Lori-Ann Muenzer
Posted by Editoress on 08/23/04
Lori-Ann spoke with us this morning, as she prepares for this evening's quarter finals round of the women's sprint. Muenzer will go up against Daniela Larreal of Venezuela in the next round, after qualifying fourth and winning her first round race against Jennie Reed of the United States.
Canadian Cyclist - This is your second Olympics, has being here before made a difference?
Lori-Ann Muenzer - Yes, I have a better idea of what's going on, I feel a bit more like a veteran coming in, which takes some of the pressure off. The main thing is, I guess, that I know what to expect.
CC - You said before that you were happy with your 500 metre time trial, was the time what you were hoping for?
LAM - I never do races with the expectation of a particular number, I just give 110%. That's what I did. I had a good start, and you can't ask for more than a personal best and a Canadian record.
CC - Yes, this track certainly seems to be fast - world records every day so far. How does it suit you?
LAM - Yes, it's amazing, all the world records. It's funny, the track doesn't feel superfast, but it is. I guess it is a combination of everything - the heat, humidity, the way the wind has dropped and is blocked by some of the big screens. This track, I love it, I loved it from the first time I saw it. I like 250 metre tracks, they are my favourites. This track feels like Sydney, Manchester, Melbourne. Manchester feels softer, Sydney and Melbourne a little harder (than Manchester), and this one is harder again. The transitions are really smooth, not like Manchester, and you can't slack off anywhere around the track.
CC - So, who are you counting among the favourites, and what are you looking for here?
LAM - It's hard to say exactly who the favourite is. I would guess between the Belarus rider (Natallia Tsylinskaya) and the Aussie (Anna Meares). But Tamilla Abassova (Russia) has come out of nowhere and is riding well. Generally, it is all the same riders who do well at the Worlds, and the World Cup. For me, I want to be in the final four. Steen (Madsen, her coach) and I have been working very hard to prepare for this. There's a little COC budget (Canadian Olympic Committee funding) for me, but not much, so it has been a hard year financially.
CC - There is a lot of talk happening right now about funding for athletes, what is your situation?
LAM - I got some money from the "See You in Athens" program, it came at just the right time when I really needed it, but there's not much else. It's frustrating - everyone comes on board for the Olympics (year), but what about the other three years? The athletes get Kraft dinner, and they expect T-bone performances. Field Law, my sponsor and employer has been so supportive, and if it hadn't been for my private supporters it would be much worse.
CC - So what about tonight, and your next race?
LAM - Yeah, it's the Venezuelan tonight. I've raced against her at the Worlds in the quarter finals, and shared a room with her in Switzerland - I've been doing well against her in the past. So, I have a plan, feel strong and expect to be first across the line.