Nicole Louise Reinhart was an American athlete that specialized in track and road racing cycling. Her career left an impact on the sport and she is remembered for winning two gold medals at the Pan American games.
Nicole Reinhart was born in Macungie, Pennsylvania on June 3, 1976. She realized her potential in track and cycling at an early age. By the age of eighteen, Reinhart had won the USA Cycling Junior competition nine times, She had also won various other athletic competitions, such as three United States fitness championships.
Besides competitions, Reinhart also participated on her high school’s cross country and track teams. She was considered the star athlete throughout her time at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. She graduated from high school in 1994 and set out to begin her professional athletic career.
Right out of high school Reinhart entered professional competing and immediately began to excel. Within a few years, Reinhart had won two national élite track championships and two gold medals at the Pan American Games.
She solidified her place as a national champion in 1999 when she became a member of Saturn’s Eomen’s Professional Cycling team, In her first year on the team, Reinhart had won nine races. The very next year she won thirteen races.
However, Reinhart’s epic professional cycling career came to a tragic end on September 17, 2000. During the 43 mile circuit race, the talented cyclist wrecked twice. However, she got back up and her team remained determined to make sure she finished first. As the race was almost over, tragedy struck. Reinhart was involved in a serious collision. As she was cycling through a turn, her left pedal and foot struck the curb, The impact sent her flying off of her bike and into a tree. Despite wearing a helmet the force of the impact killed the professional cyclist. Before the accident, Reinhart had led the competition by winning the first three of the four races. The winner of this fourth racewould be given a grand prize of $250,000. After the tragic circumstances, Reinhart was posthumously declared the winner and the money was given to her family.
The family used the large sum of money to create the Nicole Reinhart Foundation in honor of their beloved family member, Created in her hometown of Macungie, Pennsylvania, the foundation continued her legacy.
A park was also named in her honor in Arlington, Massachusetts, the city in which her death occured. The Cutter School’students park and playground was dedicated in her honor in 2001.
Three years later, Reinhart would posthumously receive another honor. In 2004, the beloved cyclist was inducted to the Lehigh Valley Velodrome Hall of Fame in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania.
Despite her early death, Reinhart will be remembered as a true athlete and talented cyclist.
Nicole Reinhart was only 24 years old at the time of her tragic death. She is remembered as a cyclist whose legacy continues to inspire and motivate athlrtes.