I have a feeling that this year will be full of a lot of incredible learning experiences. I’m excited for more racing this year as I move into elite track cycling and more international races. I can’t wait to represent this team and everything it stands for. Together we can inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes and be the driving change for others in this world
McKenna McKee’s first experience with a bike came at the age of two on the back of her parents tandem and as she says, she’s been around bikes as long as she can remember. Fittingly born in Portland, Oregon (otherwise known as bike town USA) McKee has a younger sister and grew up as part of an active family.
Not long after McKee’s tandem experience, she started riding herself, “as soon as my feet could reach the pedals,” and a few years later started racing at eight years old. In between, at the age of six McKee was diagnosed as type 1 after suffering from a prolonged period of dehydration, vomiting and always needing to urinate.
The only person in her family to be diagnosed with diabetes, the news hit McKee hard and from the look on her parents’ faces she knew it was serious. After spending four days in the hospital McKee thought her life was over and it took some time for her to start feeling positive again. Initially her first activity after diagnosis was swimming, but upon noticing fluctuations in her blood glucose levels she found herself back on the bike.
Starting cycling again brought with it another level of managing her diabetes and a fresh set of challenges, but that did not deter McKee and after being told of Team Novo Nordisk by a family friend, she was inspired and immediately started to dream of making the team.
A talent ID camp in 2019 helped make that dream a reality and McKee has been a part of the Team Novo Nordisk family for the last three years. Talented both on the track and on the road, McKee is blossoming as part of the team’s ambassador’s program as a supported rider and competitor on the domestic junior criterium & track racing calendar in the United States. 2021 saw her results jump up a notch, taking the win at the T-Town summer games in the U-23 women’s Kierin and 2022 will see her make the transition to elite racing.