Collin Matiza Sports Editor
STEFY Bau, a former three-time world women’s motocross champion, believes Tanya Muzinda is still an unpolished diamond which has the potential of following her footsteps and becoming a world-beater if the young Zimbabwean rider shifts her base to the United States where she will be groomed properly.
Italian Bau, who is now based in the United States, is Muzinda’s international manager and she was behind the Zimbabwean rider’s recent participation at this year’s Thor Winter Olympics Supercross and Motocross Championships (Mini Os) which ran from November 19 to 24 in Florida.
The Thor Winter Olympics are one of the premier amateur motocross racing events in the United States as they bring together riders from all over the world who, for six days, battle it out to be crowned Olympiad Champion.
They are also a part of the American Motocross Championship Majors — an alliance made up of an elite group of race organisers that host premier amateur and professional motocross events in the United States.
And Muzinda (14) recently found out that the annual Thor Winter Olympics are no place for the faint-hearted when she failed to make it into the top 10 of the Senior Girls 12-16 age-group Supercross and motocross events that she competed in at this major international event last week.
But Bau said Muzinda’s participation at this year’s Thor Winter Olympics was not aimed at seeing her getting a place on the podium but to help her get the much-needed international exposure in her journey of becoming a fully-fledged professional rider overseas.
Speaking to The Herald from her base in San Fancisco yesterday, the former Italian women’s motocross superstar also believes that Muzinda has to relocate from Zimbabwe to the United States if she is to realise her dream of becoming a fully-fledged professional rider and a world-beater.
“Tanya improved during the week of racing (at the Thor Winter Olympics). The level here is high, so it takes a lot of riding commitment to be succesful.
“Tanya needs to train more. Kids here (in the United States) train (for) seven days a week. But it (Muzinda’s participation at this year’s Thor Winter Olympics) was definitely an overwhelming experience and an eye-opener for her. We’ll work on a plan to get her where she needs to be,” Bau said. Muzinda’s father and trainer, Tawanda, concurred with Bau.
“Back home in Zimbabwe we train for four hours per week and here in the United States they train for up to eight hours a day. Worldclass athletes are produced here and I personally feel that if Tanya is to turn into a fully-fledged professional, she should stay here (in the United States).
“One thing I noticed here is that some of the girls who competed with Tanya at the Thor Winter Olympics ride much faster than the boys that she competes with at Donnybrook in Harare,” Tawanda Muzinda said.
He also revealed that his daughter received a congratulatory message from the United States-based Female Black Riders for finishing in the top 20 in both the Supercross and motocross events during this year’s Thor Winter Olympics. The Female Black Riders ride across the 54 States in the USA promoting awareness for females to take up riding.
“They (the Female Black Riders) sent the congratulatory message to Tanya through Stefy Bau on Skype. They were really chuffed by her presence and performance at this year’s Thor Winter Olympics,” said Tawanda Muzinda, who accompanied his daughter to the United States.
They are expected back home in Zimbabwe on Friday.