Sarah Hammer owns a world record and eight world titles, but for one of America’s most decorated cyclists ever, a single accomplishment remains just beyond the reach of her handlebars: an Olympic gold medal.
Hammer became the first US cyclist to qualify for the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro earlier this month. Now, she's hoping the third time is a charm at finding the top of the podium.
She competed at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and the London 2012 Summer Olympics, where she won two silver medals including a heartbreaking second place finish in the Omnium.
“I lost gold by one point, so that was one of those things where you’re like, ‘One point!’, but in reality I couldn’t have done anything else,” said Hammer.
The Temecula native, who previously split time between Southern California and Europe, moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado after the London Games. Hammer spent the last few years winning five more world medals while thinking about Rio.
"The cool thing about sport is you never know what is going to happen, so if I knew what was going to happen next summer, it wouldn’t be as exciting chasing it," said Hammer.