Catching Katerina Nash
This story is about Katerina Nash, a Truckee based athlete who has climbed up to the top ranks of professional mountain biking, cyclocross, and nordic ski racing. Katerina has stood the test of time as a top competitor through the years. She has endured racing as an olympian across two sport disciplines and by the looks of it, is not slowing down this year.
Victories in all three of these disciplines continue to stack up for Katerina. In many countries, towns, cities and mountains, Katerina has stood on the top podium with a glowing smile and her positive outlook on life and competition. She is known worldwide for just that.
The talent, drive, love and determination that it takes to be a professional and olympic athlete are a natural part of who Katerina has become. She has a deep passion for the outdoors and has made that a priority each day. It was back in high school when the two sports, nordic skiing and biking, collided together to create the perfect harmony and the life style she lives today.
In the middle of her high school years at ski academy in Czech Republic she was introduced to mountain biking. Her coach had five used mountain bikes and offered them to the students. Without hesitation, she and her new "bike team" were off peddling. She said, “when I got it onto dirt, I thought it was the coolest thing ever”! Days later, she entered her first race. When signing up and deciding whether to enter the elite category or hobby category, she decided that the elite category was appropriate due to the fact that she was a pretty good athlete in general (keep in mind she just started biking a few days prior). That day, she took her first mountain bike victory. Three years later, she was still focused on being a full time nordic skier and biking in the summers to stay fit. While staying fit and entering some races, she qualified and went to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics for mountain biking and finished the cross country race in the top 20.
After attending college and racing on the nordic team for the University of Nevada Reno and competing in two Winter Olympics, her team eligibility was running out and it was time for mountain biking to take center stage. She was quickly swept up by LUNA , now the CLIF pro team. Sixteen years later, she is the only original member still racing, and she is still winning.
She’s also still giving back and loves being part of the Truckee community. Each summer, keep an eye out for her woman’s mountain bike clinic with Tahoe Mountain Bike Girls. Katerina always looks forward to this event that she's been a part of for 13 years. She says, “I like introducing more people to the things I love and showing them that it’s not as scary or intimidating as it may seem. There are many different levels of riding, you can always find one that fits you. Once you're out there, you get the reward of seeing these beautiful places and meeting new friends along the way.” She goes on to say, “It’s always fun to be outside.”
With all this biking, inevitably, you end up needing a bike shop for bike maintenance and friendly support. Lucky for us, Katerina has been a Pacos supporter for many years and comes in whether she needs a repair or not. She says, “I like the direction Russell has taken the shop, with the bar and the retail. It’s a fun place to visit even if you’re not shopping for anything.”
When she's looking for mechanical help, she’s confident that the shop crew can help saying, “No matter what happens with my bike, they can always figure it out. It’s nice to have a bike shop that keeps up with the technology, they have become the experts. Whether I need it in four hours or a few days, they're on it.”
This summer, you can catch her at some of the local races, the Truckee Fondo or Downieville Classic. Keep and eye out and give an extra “hooray!” to help push her to another top spot on the podium.