GRiT, Enthusiasm and Resilience – Meet Emma Hurst

If you could only use two words to describe someone, enthusiastic and determined would be the top two for Idaho League GRiT Ambassador, Emma Hurst. A talented athlete, Emma took 5th place overall in Varsity Girls as a junior and served as team captain and a GRiT Ambassador. Her enthusiasm for mountain biking, her team and her league also means that after she’s crossed the finish line, you will find her cheering on every student-athlete on every team and encouraging her teammates to do the same.

“Biking with my team in NICA’s Idaho League changed my life for good. My experiences led me to: take care of my body by eating well and working out, persevere and remain positive even through challenges and discomfort, become friends with people of similar interests across the state of Idaho. I love that at a NICA event, we cheer for EVERY racer of EVERY team. When I hear people call out my name during a race, it’s like they’re pouring energy into me–I love that!” – Emma Hurst

Coming out of her 5th place finish in Varsity girls in 2019, Emma poured her energy into training for the 2020 season. Early in February 2020, Emma had a snowmobile-tubing accident, suffered a concussion and broke her pelvis in multiple places. This was a HUGE setback for Emma but she channeled her enthusiasm and anticipation for riding with her friends into motivation to forge through her recovery. Her recovery took months, working from laying flat in bed, to a wheelchair, to a walker, to crutches, to swimming, to a recumbent bike and finally back to her cross-country bike. The goal of being able to participate again in NICA activities and connect with her friends and teammates kept Emma determined on her recovery.

By Fall 2020 Emma had mostly recovered, but due to the pandemic was unable to race. This didn’t deter Emma’s enthusiasm as she embraced her role as a GRiT Ambassador and helped facilitate socially-distanced GRiT activities so that her community could still come together through the bike. Emma planned socially distanced icebreaker games for the girls on her team after practices, organized a day for coming together to make keychains and bracelets out of bike tubes and chain parts, and held a GRiT ride!

This spring, Emma will graduate from high school. She plans to go to college where she’ll study recreational therapy and hopes to continue mountain bike racing.

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