Young, ambitious, and determined 2012 Olympic hopeful Dana Feiss demonstrates the character needed to conquer her seemingly overwhelming goals. Feiss recalls when she first started track cycling telling teachers she wanted to compete in the Olympics. One teacher specifically commented, "You know that's a really lofty goal right?" Not intimidated Feiss responded, "Yeah, so?" Upon high school graduation some coaches advised the cyclist to focus strictly on either athletics or academics, considering training at the elite level Olympic hopefuls must train at while attending college unreasonable. Feiss felt otherwise. "I can do whatever I want, watch this. And here I am."
Here she is indeed. Last summer Dana Feiss graduated Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in professional writing, an accomplishment she takes great pride in. The fact Feiss earned her degree in just three years makes the feat all the more impressive. Not many people get four year degrees in three and even less do so while training for the Olympics. Dana's training commitments left her pursuing her academic goals while maintaining a busy travel schedule.
The Olympic hopeful's hard work proved worthwhile though this past October when she represented the United States at the Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The experience representing as Feiss puts it, "one of the coolest countries in the world" wowed the cyclist. She did the country well too, bringing home a bronze medal in the Keirin. Feiss talked about her approach heading into the Pan-American Games revealing, "It's my first real international competition. I'm going to go out there and see what I can do. I wasn't expecting a medal at all."
Feiss credits both her family and Olympic long team teammates for helping to get her where she is today. To earn a ticket to London, England Feiss will need to rely on her teammates Liz Carlson, Cristin Walker, Tela Crane, Maddie Godby, and Jennifer Valente a little more. Only two countries from each region can qualify for the 2012 Olympics. A country gains points through performance at international competitions. Right now Venezuela and Colombia lead the Pan-American region. Dana notes, "We could probably reel in Colombia but it's going to be hard at this point." Hard doesn't scare the women on the Olympic long team however as Feiss comments, "We're still going for it… It's the freakin' Olympics, how can you not try?"