ORLANDO. — At 15, Zimbabwe’s youngest motocross champion is in Central Florida in the United States preparing for her next race. Tanya Muzinda fell in love with the extreme sport.
“Most people, especially in Africa, don’t believe that you should be wasting your time in a sport like that — you should just be doing school,” Muzinda said about how her culture views motocross.
When she was just five years old, Muzinda was introduced into the male-dominated sport.
“I got on the bike and I fell down and said I wasn’t going back again,” the teen said about her first experience on a dirt bike.
After some encouraging words, she got back on. Since then, the teen’s love for the adrenaline-fuelled sport has only grown stronger.
“When you’re riding and you see other competitors next to you and they’re all fighting to be the first person to finish that race and also because when you’re jumping you feel like you can fly, you feel like you can do anything,” the teen said.
News 6 caught up with her in Orlando, where she is training for her next race, the Thor Winter Olympics, at the end of the month in Alachua.
“I’ve done this race before last year and I finished off in the top 20, but I feel like that time I wasn’t ready enough,” Muzinda said.
She arrived from Zimbabwe with her father two weeks ago so they could have enough time to train. It’s a sport that’s taken her around Africa, Europe and the US — winning several competitions in a sport with only a handful of female athletes. “I do feel like I get treated a bit differently. They actually put more effort into beating me. No one wants to be beaten by a girl,” she said about her experience on the race track when she goes up against men.
In 2017, Muzinda made history at the HL Racing MX Masters Kids UK Championships
“I remember being behind the person that was in first position and I slowly went past him and I was surprised because I never thought I’d end up in the top 10,” Muzinda said.
She raced up to first place, becoming the first female racer to win a heat since the championship’s inauguration in 2013. — Orlando.com