Anita Stenberg: A conversation with An Olympian Cyclist

Anita Stenberg: A conversation with An Olympian Cyclist

Feb 03, 2022

Boca Bearings

Have you ever wondered what it takes to 1- Create a national sport/ team and 2-to compete in the Olympic games? Well, here is Anita and she will tell us all about it. 


Anita  Stenberg who is a 29 year old professional cyclist from Norway, shares with us how she has put the Boca Bearings to the test all over Europe. 


Anita explains “I have lived in Denmark for 8 years and 1,5 years on the Spanish island of Mallorca. I’m a professional track cyclist. I ride for the Norwegian National Team on track, where my favorite discipline is in endurance, mainly omnium. My club is from Oslo, called IK Hero. In 2012 I decided to be a track cyclist.” This would turn out to be an interesting choice since, Anita explains: “There is no track, no national team, no support – only me (well, we just got our very first indoor velodrome this winter in Sola!)." This will not be a deterrence for an athlete of Anita’s caliber. 


This is what groundbreaking athletes do; they create new paths. Anita continues “ I didn’t even know what I was doing at all. But I knew my heart belonged to the track, and I had such a passion for it. The passion for speed and power one feels on the track.”


Anita before discovering her unwavering love for cycling tried other sports from running to boxing but nothing captured her heart until she discovered cycling . “After 3 years I had to admit I didn’t quite enjoy the racing, as it was too long, too hilly, too windy and rainy. I liked the short races, like criterium. And this is the way I found out that track cycling is exactly what I am looking for! It is fast, it is all about speed and power. No hills, no rain, no wind. Only pure fast racing. And after this, I have never looked back.” Anita now only looks to the future and is how to continue to grow in her sport.


Anita’s passion, dedication and hard work has paid off. Anita was invited to train with the Hungarian national team. She elaborates; “The first year I was training in Hungary with the Hungarian National team. They taught me to race and to train like a track cyclist and how to become a professional athlete.” 


With this great training and exposure to the professional world of track racing, Anita In 2013 decided to move to Copenhagen, Denmark, “ where I could combine my studies (nutrition) and track cycling.” Yet, she laments “ I was all by myself. I made the budget. The race-calendar. Talked with the Norwegian Federation to try to convince them I am good enough. Talked with sponsors. Promoted myself and promoted track cycling in Norway. I started from nothing, but with a big passion and faith, and everything has developed since.”  Anita’s hard work and dedication has been fruitful. 


Anita has achieved the impossible! She is a force to be reckoned with. Anita has spearheaded the popularity and the efforts to develop a national team.  She continues: “Today there is a national team. The federation has a budget for me. I am racing the biggest events in the world. I have reached so much already on my own. But there is so much more I still want.” Anita’s drive is unparalleled, and we love her for it. 


Helping to create a national team is an incredible accomplishment considering the fact that Anita had to do this from the ground up.  She states: ``With minimal resources, I have gone from place in the European Championship in 2015 to a bronze medal in the World Championship in 2020 and a place in the Olympic Games 2021.”   Anita came from having no team or support to compete in the Olympic games


In a nutshell, you get to the Olympic games by determination, sacrifice and a commitment to the sport. Anita explains the pressure she faces, “I am the only rider on the national team for the moment. This means that I am the only one who can and has the opportunity to collect national points for Norway, which is a huge responsibility for a rider alone.” Anita is the personification of grit. 


Anita continues, “My passion and my willingness to succeed is the reason I have managed to reach the world elite with minimal resources. I have been fighting and I have gone all-in for a sport I love.” This is how we roll! 


Even though Anita is now a bonafide professional with many accolades  on the track she still suffers from “nerves' ' she explains “I am so nervous before the start that I always need to tell myself, the biggest enemy on the track is myself. I cannot control the other riders, but I can control myself and make my own choices. I can be my own best friend and make miracles, but I can also be my worst enemy, and make myself fail. It is a choice I can control. I always ask myself; do you want to be your own best friend or your worst enemy? 99 % of the time, I choose to be my own best friend, but once in a while, I fail, and I put myself down.” We have to remind ourselves to be gentle with ourselves if we ever want to achieve greatness. 


 Anita first heard about BB from her coach. “ It was my coach’s friend who had tried it out for his road wheels in Denmark. And he was so satisfied and would highly recommend us to try out Boca Bearing for our race wheel on the track. So we did, and I haven’t been happier about it. Haven't used anything else since!” BB bearings are meant for speed and endurance. 


Now, you may be asking what’s next for this pioneer athlete, well Anita explains”My biggest goal is to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024. Otherwise, for 2022 my biggest goal is the European Championship and the World Championship. I have never had a medal in the Euro’s before, so 2022 will be my year! I am also dreaming about another medal (and a jersey!) in the World’s – so 2022 – here we come!” 


BB is here shouldering Anita on this new year 2022, and on all future years. Keep on cycling, Anita! 


Watch here how Anita and her European coach install our bearings: