US Cyclist London-Bound After Overcoming Anorexia

    Dotsie Bausch (L) and teammate Lauren Michelle warm up at the World Track Cycling Championships in the Ballerup Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark, March, 24,  2010.
    Dotsie Bausch (L) and teammate Lauren Michelle warm up at the World Track Cycling Championships in the Ballerup Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark, March, 24, 2010.
    Mike Richman
    More than a decade ago, Dotsie Bausch’s life was spiraling out of control. She was battling a serious eating disorder that had reduced her weight to a dangerous 40 kilograms. Now, she is a world-class U.S. track cyclist who will compete at the upcoming London Olympics.  

    Dotsie Bausch once considered committing suicide. While working as a model in New York City in the 1990s, she used cocaine and other recreational drugs and turned anorexic, a disease that ravaged her body. The choice was hers - either live or die.

    “The age-old reaching rock bottom. I mean everybody’s is different, and I got to mine and that was probably the step for me that said, `Okay, I want to make, I need to make some changes.’ Initially, I really didn’t do it for myself," she said. "It was more for my family because I realized I wasn’t going to be around much longer if I continued on that path, and I didn’t really care. But I had such an awesome support system, and I knew how devastating that would be.”

    Bausch found an outlet. With renewed energy, she took up cycling in 1998 and was soon pedaling in charity rides, including an 877-kilometer journey on a mountain bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

    Bausch soon advanced from novice to Category 1 racer, the highest level in USA Cycling. She landed on the U.S. National Team in 2002.

    The 1.75-meter-tall cyclist competed in some of the biggest road races in the world. But after nearly a decade she wanted to try something different and transitioned to track cycling in 2007. She was eventually named to the U.S. squad in team pursuit, where three riders compete in a 3,000-meter race on fixed bikes on an oval track.  

    Now 39, the first-time Olympian is preparing for the London Games.

    As Bausch put it, cycling has changed her life in “a million positive ways.”

    “It was just a pathway for healing for a couple of years, and then I started racing because I just loved being on my bike so much and I thought, one day, well maybe I’ll try to race," Bausch said. "It’s been a journey that I would have never guessed that I would have been on, and definitely would never have guessed the Olympics.  But here we are.”

    Team USA with Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch, and Sarah Hammer (L-R), competes to take a silver medal in the women's team pursuit final during the Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, March 24, 2011.Team USA with Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch, and Sarah Hammer (L-R), competes to take a silver medal in the women's team pursuit final during the Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, March 24, 2011.
    x
    Team USA with Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch, and Sarah Hammer (L-R), competes to take a silver medal in the women's team pursuit final during the Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, March 24, 2011.
    Team USA with Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch, and Sarah Hammer (L-R), competes to take a silver medal in the women's team pursuit final during the Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, March 24, 2011.
    Bausch is a seven-time U.S. National Champion in cycling and a two-time Pan American gold medalist on the track. In 2010, she and teammates Sarah Hammer and Lauren Tamayo set a world record at the Pan American Championships in Mexico in women’s team pursuit.

    The trio will reunite in London, where women’s team pursuit will debut as an Olympic event.

    Bausch, part of a family with strong U.S. military ties, is honored to be representing her country.

    “My sister, who I’m very close with and who I have a business with, was an officer in the Air Force and served a tour in Iraq," Bausch said. "So it’s got a really special meaning in my heart to wear the colors - the red, white and blue - and the flag, and what it means to be American from my sister and my family defending our country.”

    Although she is immersed in cycling, Bausch has other goals too. She serves as a mentor and offers support to women trying to overcome severe eating disorders in hopes that they return to a healthy lifestyle.

    “I always say to the women and girls that I’m able to help, ‘I’m just someone that’s walked in your shoes, that’s really all I am.’  And by just being open and honest in that way and just letting them know that I just get, you know, the horror of what they’re dealing with, I’ve been able to have a lot of them open up to me,” Bausch said.

    Dotsie Bausch’s comeback story is truly inspiring.  She aims to add another chapter to it in London.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora