Emily Batty had an incredible year on her mountain bike; she won the Canadian Championships and got third in the World Championships. And though her performance at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil was one spot away from a medal (she got fourth) as Canadians, we didn’t love her any less.
“I just ran out of gas,” she says of her Olympic performance. But don’t think she’s giving up. At just 28 years of age, the Trek-sponsored athlete has two, three, maybe even four more chances at an Olympic medal. She’s already looking forward to Tokyo.
In the meantime, it’s off season. A chance to forget the races; forget the training, the points, the rivalries and the competition. A chance to reconnect with friends and family and decompress. It’s a chance to ride for fun. And when Emily Batty is at her home in Ontario, she goes back to the same trails and roads where her love affair with cycling began; places like the Copeland Forest, Three Stage and the roads of BruceGreySimcoe.
Along with husband and coach Adam Morka, if you spend even a minute with these two, it’s obvious they love cycling. As far as ambassadors of the sport go, you couldn’t find a better fit. But don’t let Emily’s friendly smile and stunning good looks fool you; she’s an absolute ripper on a bike. Tearing through technical sections with the best of them she’ll climb roads or single track easily.
“This is what I do for a living, but ultimately it started on these trails and it started on these roads. And that’s what I keep coming back to. The roots of what I need to be a world cup professional athlete, stem from these local trails and roads. That’s the reason I keep coming back to them.”
If you find yourself on the roads or trails of BruceGreySimcoe, don’t be surprised to see one of Canada’s favourite Olympians right there beside you. Say hi while you can. She’s as friendly as they come, but she’s probably about to leave you in her dust.
Words by Colin Field.