When diagnosed with diabetes, many people are told that participating in endurance sport isn’t a good idea. But our team is living proof that’s just a myth.
Below the Team Novo Nordisk Pro riders share how they’re “setting the record straight” for World Diabetes Day!
How are you setting the record straight on living and racing with diabetes?
My diabetes doesn’t stop me from chasing my dreams. So when I’m riding, I don’t see myself as a bike racer with diabetes, just a bike racer.
I race to show that people with diabetes can compete with the best and that we shouldn’t be treated differently.
Diabetes is just one of the obstacles that life has put in front of me. So I do my best to manage it, stay healthy and overcome the challenges that come my way.
Many people told me diabetes would be the end of my bike racing career. They never would have believed one day I would race 300km against the world’s best riders and cross the finish line at Milan-San Remo.
I feel my diabetes gives me a strength that only I can understand! I want other cyclists to see me as a competitor, not a rider with diabetes.
I race to inspire others with diabetes and to show that people with diabetes can compete at the highest level, in one of the hardest sports in the world.
Gerd de Keijzer
As a pro bike racer, I show people what it’s really like to be racing with diabetes. Whether it’s talking about what we eat or what we can or can’t do, I’m always happy to set the record straight.
As part of the Australian National Team in 2012, I learned that as long as I managed my diabetes, I could be as good or even better than the guys I was racing against. Now, I race to show others that diabetes doesn’t have to be an obstacle.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes, many people doubted I’d be able to keep racing my bike. Since then, I finished a Grand Tour, one of the most prestigious and challenging events in cycling.
Diabetes is part of who I am and it never prevents me from pursuing what I love. I race to inspire others to pursue what they love.
Kevin De Mesmaeker
As a pro cycling team, we encounter a lot of misconceptions about living and racing with diabetes and I’m always eager to set the record straight.
There are many challenges that come with living with diabetes and I’ve worked hard to learn how to manage my diabetes as a pro cyclist. Now I want to share my experience with others who face similar challenges.
When I was 12, a cycling team rejected me because I had diabetes. Now I race against the best in the world with Team Novo Nordisk and I’m able to inspire others to strive for their full potential!
A rider on my first cycling team told me I couldn’t race a bike with diabetes. Today, I race to show the world I can ride faster and farther with diabetes.
Living with diabetes has never been a reason for me to give up on my dreams. Whatever the challenge, I look for a solution, remain confident and try to find a way. Now I compete with the best to inspire others not to give up.
Rik van IJzendoorn
Racing with Team Novo Nordisk has taught me how to manage my diabetes as a pro racer. I hope to use this experience to inspire others affected by diabetes.
People told me I couldn’t do endurance sports with diabetes. With discipline and determination, I achieved my dream of becoming a pro cyclist and now I’m showing others what’s possible with diabetes.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was told I couldn’t do more than a mile on the bike. Then I remembered watching Team Novo Nordisk on TV and thought, “If these guys can do it, why can’t I?” Now, as pro racer I want others with diabetes to think, “Why can’t I?”