Note from Eric: I met Sue Novara-Reber on a missions trip to Swaziland. She shared with me her story about how she had been a world champion cyclist, winning medals for the U.S. at the World Championships and the Olympics. But at the height of her cycling career, she wondered if this was all there was to life. She was about to find out there was so much more–and it’s available to every one of us.
WORLD CHAMPION CYCLIST FINDS CHRIST
by Sue Novara-Reber
Click the link below to watch one of Sue’s most amazing cycling victories, then listen as she shares how each of us can make the most of our own lives here on earth, too. Also included below is a brief biography of her life.
Sue Novara-Reber was born in Flint Michigan on November 22, 1955. Novara, like Eric Heiden, was a speed skater who switched to cycling and quickly became an outstanding rider. Sue won her first national sprint competition at age 16 at the 1972 nationals and at 19 years of age, she became the youngest cyclist to win the world sprint championships. Sue had a fierce rival in Sheila Young and they had a number of exciting head to head competitions. Sue also won the nationals in 74, 75, 77, 78, 79 and 80. Through 1981 Sue had won 7 gold medals and 3 silver at the sprint nationals.
Sue won 7 world championship medals including two gold as a sprint champion. Sue had collected more medals in the world championships then any rider in US history. She won 2 gold, 4 silver, and a bronze, (1975-1981). She never failed to finish in the top three during those years. At the 1975 world championships in Belgium, Sue won the match sprint, with Shelia Young coming in 3rd.
At the 1978 world championships in Munich Sue won her third successive silver medal in the match sprint. In 1979 Sue won her sixth career medal in the match sprint. The 3rd place bronze came at the 1979 world championships in Holland. In the 1980 world championships in France, Sue won the match sprint for the second time.
Sue’s final race was in Boulder Colorado in the 1984 Coors Classic International Cycling Race (which was the final tune up race for the 1984 LA Olympic games). 1984 was a special year. It was the year Marianne Martin won the women’s Tour De France, and Connie Carpenter won the Olympic road race in Los Angeles. All these women contributed to bringing cycling into the spotlight. Like Connie, Sue also retired after the 1984 season and she was hired by the USCF to prepare the women’s team for the 1987 Worlds, which under her direction, the team won 4 medals including a gold. She was inducted into the bicycle hall of fame in 1991. Sue married Mark Reber in 1977 and became known as Sue Novara-Reber.