OLYMPICS

Park City mountain biker training to compete in her second Olympics

May 17, 2024, 5:22 PM | Updated: 6:36 pm

PARK CITY — Haley Batten sure is glad mountain biking has become a big deal in Utah.

She grew up in Park City and it has allowed her to see the world.

“To be able to grow up and develop through the local racing there and be able to take that all the way into what I am doing now, which is racing a full World Cup series in Europe, and all over the world actually, and the Olympics as well,” Batten said.

Batten, who is on the USA Cycling team, competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

She came in 9th in women’s cross country.

Although she hasn’t officially been named to the US Team going to the Paris Olympics this summer, she is leading the Mountain Bike World Series standings and is expected to be a medal contender in Paris.

The team will be named within the month.

“It was really special to experience Japan and Tokyo and get to be in the Olympics,” Batten said. “They did such a good job considering COVID and all the crazy factors, but I think this year, being able to go to what feels like a real true Olympics, yeah, it is really exciting for me.”

Her success, as well as the growth of Utah’s high school cycling league with close to 8000 athletes, has also helped put Utah on the National team’s radar.

“Utah is actually one of the most exciting prospects for me as mountain bike director because I can of get to see where youth participation is and where it is growing,” Alec Pasqualina, who is the Mountain Bike Director for USA Cycling, said. “I don’t think we have another state with such a high number of riders participating.”

As Utah’s High School Cycling League continues to grow, Batten is one of the league’s best examples of how far you can go in the sport.

“It grew so rapidly and I think just the infrastructure for riding is so incredible and the community around it,” she said.

Batten is hoping to represent the United States, Utah, and Park City, once again at the Olympics.

“My family is excited and I think all of USA cycling is as well,” Batten said.

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Park City mountain biker training to compete in her second Olympics