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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs