UCCS student wins silver in cycling

Jennifer Valente garners medal in women's team pursuit at Summer Olympics in Rio
Community, Education, Progress

UCCS silver medalist Jennifer Valente

UCCS silver medalist Jennifer Valente

Long Photography, USA Women's Cycling, Team USA

CU Colorado Springs student Jennifer Valente will have a lot to show and tell when she reports for classes this fall: a silver medal from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio for her contribution to the women’s cycling team pursuit competition.

Valente, 21, has extensive experience in track, cycling competitively at age 13 and soon tallying 12 junior national titles and one junior world championship title.

An undeclared major, Valente was part of the five-member women’s team that made history earlier this year for USA Cycling by winning the program’s first world title in team pursuit. This was her first trip to the Olympics with teammates Sarah Hammer, Kelly Catlin and Chloe Dygert. The team came together less than a year ago.

The British team won gold in the team pursuit, breaking its own record and defending its Olympic gold medal in 4:10.236. But the U.S. squad of was happy with silver, finishing in 4:12.454. It’s the second silver for the U.S. team since the event debuted at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Valente credits her success to her late coach, Mark Whitehead, who passed away suddenly in July 2011.