John Carlin’s Outdoors | Olympic Gold Medalist Jennifer Valente trains in Roanoke

Valente says she is motivated for Paris and the 2024 Olympics

ROANOKE, Va. – Jennifer Valente is the reigning Olympic Gold medalist in a niche form of cycling called the Omnium. Essentially it is to cycling, what the decathlon is to track and field. And this summer she added another world championship to her resume with a gold in the women’s scratch race, bringing her total to 19 Elite World Championship medals.

In the Omnium, riders participate in four events on an indoor track, and the one with the highest score wins.

Jennifer Valente has figured out how to win.

She is doing training rides in Roanoke this week as part of her work with Virginia’s Blue Ridge Team 2024, a women’s development team of which she has been a part, since she was a teenager, racing in the junior division.

She agreed to do a riding interview with me to talk about the satisfaction of winning and her determination to win again.

She knows that at this point in her career, she is not sneaking up on anybody.

“Going into the Olympics as the reigning world champion is definitely — it has a different kind of target on your back. So I think there’s gonna be pluses and minuses about it but it definitely is a confidence booster as well, so I’ll take that as a positive,” Valente said as we rode bicycles on the Roanoke River Greenway.

Valente has also won Olympic silver and bronze medals in track cycling events, in addition to numerous world championships.

We’ll have more about Jennifer in an upcoming edition of John Carlin’s Outdoors, and remember WSLS Insiders get the first look!

About the Author

John Carlin co-anchors the 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on WSLS 10.

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