Ulugbek Saidov grew up as a middle child. Along with his two brothers, he experienced an active childhood in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. At nine years old, he started losing weight, had increased thirst and experienced general malaise. When his symptoms increased, his parents took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Being so young, Saidov says he didn’t fully understand the diagnosis. At the time, all he comprehended was that he would have to give himself injections every day for the rest of his life. Without any family history or connection to diabetes, the diagnosis was an adjustment for his entire family yet his parents focused on maintaining a positive outlook. Saidov soon returned to his active childhood.
In Tashkent, Uzbekistan, there is a cycling club designed for children with diabetes. Saidov joined the club when he was 15, and after a month of hard training, he entered his first bike race. Immediately, he was hooked. The following year, he attended one of Team Novo Nordisk’s talent ID camps in Athens, Georgia. Initially, he made Team Novo Nordisk’s junior team. Thanks to his motivation and dedication, Saidov improved on both his diabetes management and bike handling skills and earned a spot on Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad. During the 2017 season, he earned four top 10 finishes including finishing second on Stage 5 of the Georgia Gran Prix.
When he is not riding his bike, Saidov is dedicated to helping other young athletes with diabetes achieve their dreams. He understands how demanding diabetes can be on athletes from physical, mental and psychological standpoints and wants to serve as a role model for those people.