TOP-NOTCH motocross rider Tanya Muzinda is to make her first major step into becoming a fully-fledged professional racer when she competes in her maiden Thor Supercross and Motocross Winter Olympics in Florida, United States, next month.
After bossing the track in local motocross, the reigning Junior Sportswoman of the Year has sought to enter the supercross circuit and will be part of the cast at Gatorback Cycle Park in Florida from November 19-24 after she was invited to race in the 47th edition of the annual fiesta.
Muzinda was invited by organisers of the race, Unlimited Sports MX, through their president Wyn Kern.
“Please accept this invitation to join us at Gatorback Cycle Park to compete in the 47th annual Thor Winter Olympics…,” wrote Kern in his letter of invitation to Muzinda, dated October 2.
And the 14-year-old biker has since intensified her preparations ahead of the potential career-changing tournament.
She is scheduled to leave for the competition on Monday next week accompanied by her parents, Tawanda, who is also her manager and mother Adiyon.
The motocross star is looking forward to a leave an indelible mark in this international event which will see more than 200 participants contesting in different categories.
Though Muzinda will be participating in the US for the first time, she is inspired by the fact that she will likely compete against some of the faces she raced with in England last year where she settled for bronze in the British Girls National Championships as well as the British Masters Kids.
“I am humbled to have been invited for the Winter Olympics in Florida. I take the invite and look forward to do well,” Tanya said. “It is these kind of competitions which make you realise that your efforts are being recognised by the international community. I am just humbled by the gesture which has been extended to me by the organisers of this big international event. “The onus is now up to me to train as hard as I can to even get more confidence from the international bodies. You see when you are a sportsperson you cannot be content with what you have achieved in the previous competitions which you have taken part in.
“You cannot rest on your laurels and say I have seen it all. You need even more challenges like the one which has come through. If you want to be a worthy-of-salt athlete, just compete against the best in the world.
“I have been training hard, trying to perfect some techniques, trying to build endurance and all other aspects of the sport. I know the competition will be tough considering I will come face to face with the best in the world but I have my country’s flag to defend.
“I promise to make every Zimbabwean proud at the end of the day,” Tanya said.
Her two-month stay in the United States is being facilitated by her international manager Stefy Bau, a three-time World Women’s Motocross Champion from Italy.
Bau was one of the fastest women motocross racers in the world. Born and raised in Italy, Bau won three world championships, holds two WMX (USA) championships, and a title from the prestigious AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s. In addition, she has also won seven Italian Championships.
During her career, Bau wasn’t afraid to take chances or to challenge herself against the top racers in the world and she is now imparting the knowledge she gained from the track during her illustrious career to young Tanya Muzinda of Zimbabwe.
Bau at the weekend attended the Motocross of Nations America in Michigan where she managed to secure a brand new bike for Tanya which she is going to ride during the Winter Olympics Supercross and Motocross Championships in Florida.
And Tanya’s father and manager, Tawanda, expressed optimism that she will shine at the big stage in the United States and possibly open new doors for the motocross wonder kid.
“This is a big opportunity for her (Tanya) to shine and possibly attract interests from international racing clubs,” said Tawanda.
“The invite came at the right time as we are now focusing more on creating international platforms for her to face the best in the world to really gauge her strength.
“She has since intensified her preparations ahead of the Winter Olympics where I am very confident she will rise to the occasion.
“She has always done well and we are looking forward to a good outing as well at the United States event.” Tanya has had a fine 2018 in terms of earning recognition after she won the African Union Sports Council Region Five Regional Annual Awards’ Junior Sportsperson of the Year accolade in South Africa in May.
She has also been nominated for other two top awards to be held in South Africa next month.