Get To Know TNN: Emanuel Mini
12 March 2018
New to Team Novo Nordisk’s professional squad for the 2018 season is 31-year-old Argentinian Emanuel Mini. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 26 and first met Team Novo Nordisk when the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team was racing at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina (2014). Mini had only been diagnosed the previous year and was surprised to see people with the same condition as him racing against the best cyclists in the world.
How did you get involved in sports?
I didn’t pick up racing until March 2010 after a bet with some of my friends. They were talking about a MTB race taking place the next day and a wager was placed. While I hadn’t ridden in years, I took my bike, competed and won the race. Everything was born for that bet and that challenge.
Who are you off the bike?
I’m the same person on and off the bike because the bike is such a big part of my life. When I’m not riding, I like to spend time with my family, friends and girlfriend and enjoy the outdoors. I approach life day-to-day and focus on living it in the best way possible.
Additionally, I enjoy participating or helping with activities that help with society and people. I’m passionate to help people live better lives.
What was it like to live in the Development Team house?
Wow, living in the house for three years was a great experience for me! When I first arrived, I didn’t speak a work of English but on my first day, I felt very comfortable, accepted and protected by the team.
Living with all my colleagues every year during the race season helped me grow as a person and an athlete. I will always be grateful for everything Team Novo Nordisk’s Devo Team gave me; they counted as my second family during those years.
How has the adjustment to Spain gone? Where do you live now?
When I signed my professional contract with the team, I knew that I would need to relocate to Spain. It is a new experience and so far it is going well. My family, girlfriend and friends are all very supportive. At the moment, I am living in Alicante, Spain, and I have a close family friend here that is helping make it feel like home.
What are your favorite memories from the Devo Team?
I have so many memories from my time with the Devo Team. Below are a few of the standouts:
One night after dinner, six of us were having a pretty lengthy conversation, and it dawned on me that we all spoke different languages. Six riders, six languages—it shocked me. And we were all able to make ourselves understood. During races, some of my teammates even learned Spanish to help communicate during the craziness of a race.
All the places I got to go – Rwanda (Africa), Thailand (Asia), Dominican Republic (Central America) – were incredible. I loved getting to experience new places and see different ways of life. It really made me value what I have.
My first victory in the US is a day I’ll never forget. It was March 29, 2015 and it stands out because that is my sister Maria Laura’s birthday. I dedicated the win to her.
Finally, I can’t even put into words what it means to me to represent this amazing team. I truly feel that we inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes all around the world. As someone who is living with type 1 diabetes, it is great when we meet other people from our community. We may not know much about each other but we immediately have a connection and I’m grateful for that bond. It makes me happy, and I love that I can spread this joy.
Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
I do not have pets in Spain but back in Argentina, my family has a cat named Milko.
How did your off season look?
I spent the offseason in Merlo, San Luis, Argentina. This is my hometown and where my family, girlfriend and friends all live. I love spending time there because I enjoy the mountains and the pure fresh air. Throughout the offseason, I really appreciated being home because I knew that I would soon be away for a long time.
What are your goals this year?
I have many goals for this season, but most importantly, I need to adapt to racing at the top level as quickly as possible because I want to be able to help my team. I’m really dedicated to doing the work my coaches send me so I will be ready to compete when the team needs me. On a personal level, I want to enjoy the experience!