Interview: Emily Batty on Loneliness, Burnout & The 2020 Olympics

Sep 2, 2019 at 19:08
by Sarah Moore  
Emily Batty is looking forward to keeping up the pace this season.

After consistently being at the pointy end of the World Cup circuit for the past several years, with podiums in five of the World Cup rounds last year, and a third-place at the World Championships in Lenzerheide, it was expected that Emily Batty would continue her winning ways in 2019. Perhaps even finally getting that elusive World Cup win. When she finished 28th in Albstadt, it was her worst World Cup race result ever. A 38th in Nove Mesto meant it was no fluke, something was off. I caught up with Emily Batty after the World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne to find out more about what made this season so difficult for her and how she's turned things around towards the end of the season to finish 9th on home soil.

How was your World Championships race?

It was a good race. It’s not very often that I don’t start either on the front or the second row but this year has been very difficult after such a great season last year. I’ve definitely taken a step way back and have had to overcome a lot of personal challenges to get back to what I’m capable of. I started on the fifth row and I think I was already a minute and a half down after lap one. I definitely paid for being way back in the start, but once it opened up I was able to start riding to my own potential.

I finished top nine and was the top Canadian. These positions and these races are crucial because the Olympic selection is heavily based on them. Top 5 was a ticket to Tokyo. I was able to eventually ride my own race and getting into those top positions came towards the middle of the race. I was just able to focus on the process and be in the moment. The fans were insane. It felt like this was a really good turnout and I’m so grateful for all the people that came out. There were a few times on the climbs where it was so loud. People could be on either side of the course so it was just a tunnel of screaming. My ears were ringing. It was spectacular. I had 45 or 50 family members here. It’s pretty incredible.

What bike did you race on?

Believe it or not, I actually chose the 27.5 hardtail. I don’t think anyone else was racing a hardtail. But the weight of the bike and the length of the bike are really important to me and I like the precision of the light bike, a sub-19 lb. mountain bike is very important to me. I race better on a light bike so I left the suspension bike in the trailer and I went with the hardtail. I felt strong on the climbs and I wasn’t riding the descents quite to my full potential, but I wasn’t losing a ton of time.

Do you think the Mont-Sainte-Anne course is one that suits you?

For the most part, I think that all race tracks have to suit you. A lot of the time it comes down to power to weight on the climbing. I’ve always been superior technically. I’m not the fastest, but I’ve always been good at technical, good at steep climbs. I think it’s a track that suits me, however I think that all the tracks have to suit you. You can’t just choose ones that suit you, you have to train for all the aspects of the different World Cups.

Back in the top 10 for Emily Batty.
A ninth place and a season's best for Emily Batty at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Championships.

Why do you think your results haven’t been where they were last year this season?

There’s a lot of political background to it. All my Canada government funding was pulled when they implemented a new government testing thing. So Adam [ed: Adam Morka, Emily’s husband and coach] unfortunately didn’t travel with me most of the winter and summer.

Adam and I also tried a few new things and potentially overreached. We kind of lost sight of what works for me and got overwhelmed with the political side of it. Once we came back to our normal and Adam was able to travel with me, I started to come around and I started to show signs of myself again.

The loneliness of just being on your own… Where I live, we pretty much have to be away all season long because the training environment isn’t quite up to par for what it takes to race World Cups. So I have to be gone for nine months of the year. And being on my own, that really affected me. There’s a lot to it but those are the main things that made the season a little bit harder than it needed to be.

Image by Piotr Staron
Emily was third at the World Championships in Lenzerheide last year.

So in the past couple years, Adam has been training you and travelling with you to every World Cup?

Yes. An athlete’s happiness is almost more important than anything and in the past we’ve always travelled together and he’s been on all the training camps. But he was home a lot more this year. I’m a social person. I don’t have a big village but there are a few people that I rely on, the few sponsors that I really, really cherish, and my small village. Adam is my coach, my training partner, my manager. He’s been that role since I was 16 years old. So it’s a big part of who I am and in extracting that potential.

Did the Trek team dynamics change at all with the addition of Jolanda Neff?

Not in any negative way. It’s been great. Honestly we haven’t really had much time to spend together because we’ve had such different schedules. At a couple of the World Cups we didn’t room together because once Adam started coming to the races with me again we just did our own thing again. Because I would rather be with him and my normal. So we stayed on our own and not with the Trek team. But she is an incredible person on and off the bike. We just haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get to know each other. She’s an amazing person and a great addition to the team. I look forward to getting to know her even more, she’s such a fun person.

Jolanda Neff Emily Batty

What’s your ideal scenario for being happiest and racing your best?

To extract my athletic potential I have to be happy. I have to be in sunshine and training. I just need quality, repetitive training without political pull. Happiness is crucial. Where I choose to train is usually very selective. I do a lot altitude training in places that I enjoy and have good memories from. Having Adam at the training camps that count and at the races and venues that are important make a big difference for me. I’m a social person so being alone is not healthy long-term. Depression after a few bad races sets in and it’s easy to fall into a really dark place. It’s just important for me to rely on those people that really matter.

So you basically spent all winter alone in Arizona?

I know it sounds horrible. I did yeah. I shouldn’t have gone back to Tucson. It’s a great training ground but I’ve done that now for ten years and I’m burned out on that location. Location means a lot to me and weather means a lot to me. Arizona is really cost-effective, it’s great for being in one spot for a long period of time and the weather’s usually pretty consistent but I should not have returned to that location. I should have gone somewhere that I wasn’t so burned out on. I should have gone somewhere that I was excited to be.

So we’re going to do some fun stuff this season together. We’re going to take our truck and our dog and go south. We’re going to go to Red Bull Rampage, hopefully a few Supercross events in California and meet some of the Red Bull athletes. That’s my dream. I would rather meet Ken Roczen than Beyonce. That’s how cool I think Ken Roczen is. We’re going to get through this next week and then we have some fun things planned in the fall.

Emily Batty had her work cut out for her as she is recovering from a bad cold.

I watched one of your YouTube videos on nutrition, did you try different things this year?

People always want to know what athletes are doing for nutrition so that was fun for me. I definitely enjoy doing the vlogs. I got away from that just because I wasn’t in a place where I could be the version of myself that I want to be, so I set that aside for now, but it’s definitely coming back because we have a lot of stuff we want to share.

Nutrition is a fun topic. I did do some different things however I don’t think that worked. I think I have to go back to what I normally do. And I did. People are like ‘You can’t be keto’ but I was never keto. People were like ‘You have to eat bananas.’ But if you add up what I eat in a day I was never keto. It was definitely carbohydrates in abundance. But I definitely dabbled in that realm. Then after a week I knew that I had to go back to normal.

What are your plans in the next year?

This year has been a qualifier for our Olympic selection. And I was two seconds off a bronze medal in Rio so I have every intention of going to Tokyo and it’s just not gone the way I was hoping this season. However we still have one race next year to make it. We have our first World Cup which is Czech Republic. So that is the final qualifier for the Olympics. I have to go into the Czech Republic in complete form to get that spot. And hopefully win the race. That’s my goal.

This fall we’re just going to go to a bunch of events with Red Bull and do some really fun epic trail riding and get back to the roots and push our skills. That’s something that I kind of got away from. I really enjoy pushing that edge as far as technical riding and I haven’t done that for quite a while. So I want to bring fun back. It’s still always really professional but I got away from having fun and I think took it a little bit too seriously in the last 12 months.

So how exactly is the Canadian Olympic team formed?

Yeah that’s its own story lingering in the background as the seasons not unfolded the way I’d love to have said it did. All of these bad races means you’re not qualifying yet. The priority for making the Canadian team is top 5 at World Championships. That’s an automatic. None of us made that, but I was top nine and was still best Canadian. Then best World Cup position all of this year as well as Czech Republic next year. So pretty much it means I have to go out and get podium, ideally first, in Czech Republic to seal the deal. Right now we have two Canadian positions for Tokyo.

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Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,336 articles

  • 145 7
 Props for her honesty. Doesn't matter what the situation is, lonliness and depression are sh*t.
  • 17 2
 Reading first hand accounts of the mental goings-on of top caliber athletes is always compelling. Just a constant battle for remaining in a relaxed head space, good vibes, less worries, and the ability to turn the intensity to 11 when it’s needed. Contrasting this interview with Bruni these are constant themes.
  • 21 19
 It sounds banal and ridiculous but the best bit about trying to do stuff differently and crashing is looking at your previous path from the distance and realizing what it was worth and which adjustments to make. It’s all safe and comfy to grind inside a grove and trying to get better at it bit by bit but sometimes you just need to blow things up. Failure is a good teacher and motivator. As long as you survive Smile
  • 32 13
 @WAKIdesigns: Reflecting upon your first sentence, why are you still posting on Pinkbike?
  • 2 0
 @Laymo: Perhaps what he was doing before wasn't working? ;-)
  • 126 7
 Unpopular opinion: Emily Batty should not have access to carding money. That funding should be reserved for promising young athletes who have to try to find tens of thousands of dollars a year for travel, equipment, team fees etc. while being unable to hold down even a part time job to support themselves with.

I'm sorry she had a rough season, but come on. People like Emily receiving carding has been detrimental to Canada's national teams across most, if not all Olympic sports and frankly I'm glad to see it go to someone more deserving.
  • 23 3
 * popular opinion
  • 12 1
 Sounds like solid view point to me.
  • 6 0
 totally agree mate.
  • 51 6
 I wish her all the best but I couldn't agree with you more. Red bull sponsored athletes who drive Porsches shouldn't have access to government cash.
  • 16 12
 @Super7: if you were top 3 in anything in the world, I'd be fine with you driving a Porsche. Let's not have your personal gauge of a person's profession or value cloud the issue. I think Canada should support it's top athletes, and reward them for their success, in order to keep them at the top of their game. She is a proven contender when supported.
  • 4 3
 @Super7: This doesn't mean anything unless you perfectly know the details of the sponsoring contract. Getting an expensive loaned car doesn't mean you are rich.
  • 2 3
 @Super7: Yeah! She should probably drop the porsche and ride her bike everywhere.
  • 2 2
 @tinfoil why? Shes competitive at a world level so why wouldnt her country help her? Who should they be helping exactly? "Promising young athletes" is a bit vague.
  • 10 2
 This seems like kind of an ignorant opinion.

She drives a loaner Porsche from Pfaff. A local-ish car dealer wants to support her. So what?

Her trainer and manager happens to be her husband. She would usually have to pay 2 people to do those services as well as pay for their travel and lodging.

Her income needs to be maximized in her competitive years, since the span of time any rider will be competitive isn’t very long, and it’s not like her career is one that is putting away retirement saving for her, she has to budget for that.
If Canada was outputting better racers, then they would be qualifying for the elite XC and should be backed by our country. There aren’t as good or better, so support the one that was highly competitive the year before.

I don’t understand the hate towards her. She’s generally positive, competitive and gives back to the mountain biking community in her hometown.

Placing so close to Kate Courtney in Mt. Saint-Anne shows she’s getting her grove back, even after starting in the 5th row.

That’s just my $0.02
  • 5 2
 @Super7: I'm sure she got that Porsche on a free lease as a sponsor. Highly doubtful she paid for it.
  • 3 0
 @sinjins: You're missing the point. I coach provincial and national level athletes and funding is virtually impossible to come by and most athletes who don't have parental support end up quitting. I really like Emily but the funding model in Canada is beyond broken.
  • 3 0
 @Super7: honestly, provincial level athletes are a dime a dozen. The percentage that pan out is definately not worth a federal gov grant. The same can probably be said for a lot of national level athletes.

For somebody to be worthy on the international stage there is an immense level of talent and dedication. I dont think it's a matter of athlete X needed a Gov grant to be able to compete at that level. It's more a case of athlete x is obviously going to compete at this level, so let's give them a grant.

I draw comparisons to hockey and the talent level that Crosby or McDavid have. It's already apparent long before anybody even has to wonder.
  • 2 0
 @warmerdamj: So John Montgomery lived in his car because he liked it? A large proportion of Canadian national level athletes have parents who can afford to fund them. Loads of talented kids can't afford to train full time and quit.
  • 2 0
 @Super7: Emily Batty isn't a national level athlete. She competes on the world stage and is an Olympic hopeful. You can't expect the government to help every national level athlete. It's obviously a topic close to you and I'm sure all of us as athletes of any level see the benefit but at the end of the day the government is going to focus its financial efforts somewhere other than athleticism.
  • 1 3
 @warmerdamj: whatever
  • 87 19
 So, if I put the pieces together correctly...
She's blaming the Canadian government for taking away roughly $25,000 that she used to cart her husband/trainer around, but that money got taken away because she makes more than $90,000 a year and just didn't want to be out of pocket on her possibly six figure income? ????
  • 55 13
 she could probably sell one of her Porsche's?
  • 25 10
 While driving a Porsche...
  • 46 9
 If an athlete is sponsored by Red Bull and making that much I'm not going to have much sympathy because their broke government is not subsidizing their training/ traveling exposes. Half the world lives on less than $2 a day and is truly suffering.
  • 37 8
 Nailed it. I wonder how our fellow Canadian taxpayers feel after reading this. Not a good look.
  • 9 4
 Pretty much
  • 49 9
 @Laymo: totally. This came across particularly tone-deaf to me:

PB: So you basically spent all winter alone in Arizona?
EB: know it sounds horrible. I did yeah. I shouldn’t have gone back.

  • 18 5
 @jaydawg69: tbf she’s sponsored by a local Porsche dealer who lets her drive those. Doubt she owns them. There was a red bull thing on her where they showed her doing promotional stuff for them.
  • 17 6
 @dmondave: that means no car payment and more $ in her pocket
  • 1 1
  • 28 28
 You guys are quite pathetic. Like a bunch of miserable pricks waiting for a train that never comes and blaming everyone but yourself for it. The trouble is... it’s pointless to wait, going to a Porsche dealer to borrow you a car to get where you want to be is a much better idea
  • 26 18
 $90,000 is not a lot of money to live on the road for 9 months a year.

And why shouldn't the Canadian government help support her? A lot of young riders get stoked to ride because of her.
  • 13 16
 @mi-bike: couldn't afford for her husband to travel but drives a Porsche. Sounds like she needs to sort her priorities
  • 3 2
 @Rwbooth: that's after expenses
  • 23 21
 @CM999: please enlighten us, tell us your life priorities and how well you follow them. Show us your wonderful personality. your account balance and how you made the money would be good too. Maybe facebook account? You know, gives us an opportunity to judge you based on your social media appearance. I think it is fair, no?
  • 23 7
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah, people are pretty righteous and tough when they're in front of a keyboard. This girl just gave us a real look into who she is, which I think is pretty amazing. There are a lot of BSers out there, Emily just proved she is not one of them...
  • 6 3
 @CM999: she gets paid to do that, just lime Yolanda drives a mustang. Stop being a prick.
  • 8 5
 @Rwbooth: that's the minimum... it could be $500k net. Have you seen her home? I think Canadian tax dollars could be spent better imo.
  • 4 2
 @jaydawg69: careful! Not allowed to have an opinion on here unless it is approved by the great @sinjins!
  • 8 1
 @Rwbooth: You are negating that teams pay for the flights and hotels to get athletes into the races the teams want them to be at. If Emily wants Adam to come along or skip the team lodging and do her own thing, that's on her, not the team. And of course the team isn't going to pay for two months of Airbnb for her to live in Arizona, that's on her. Speaking of, she has stated in a previous video she spends roughly 40% of her salary to train in the desert. And that it was "worth it" to her.
  • 2 4
 @CM999 Come on, show us YOU, I want to know how much you make, how you make it and what do you spend your money on. Please.
  • 7 0
 I am sure there is more to it than that. The value of the funding may not actually be the point, perhaps more how it was done and what the end effect was.

If you get used to something and it’s pulled that can cause issues. Not withstanding, training, travelling, eating, maintaining and all the rest costs a ton of money. Hell, on paper I earn well more than this completely random 90k figure but there’s absolutely no way I could afford to train half the year and ride bikes. Not going to happen.

There is a point around marketing, that perhaps could help the image. There are people that do that for a crust (help that is). The whole Porsche thing isn’t perhaps the best tactic, even though I’m also sure she probably doesn’t own it.

Perhaps there’s a story here around authenticity and finding the right groove. We should refrain from piling shit on people when we don’t know the full story though. She’s a person just like the rest of us. Just wants to do well in a chosen field and feel good about it, put food on the table and be happy. Nothing wrong with that.
  • 3 0
 @It might be better for Government to get out this business altogether and provide the private sector with more incentives to support Canadian athletes.
  • 2 0
 @bholton: how about private business just do it without government incentives... I'm sure they write off the expenses somehow anyways.
  • 6 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I think it is fair for us to discuss Emily's finances without revealing our own. We are not on Instagram promoting our wealthy enviable lifestyles, we are not publicly complaining about government funding, but she is. I was a fan of hers until this post.
  • 1 1
 Basically every race Batty goes to is like taking a no expenses paid vacation. $90,000 a year isnt that much of you are constantly travelling N. America and sometimes the globe.

I knew a kid in high school who drove a Porsche. It was a piece of crap and barely cost anything.
  • 1 0
 90K isn't much when you consider all the travel costs required for professional mtb. Also, I'd bet she got the Porsche on a free lease as sponsorship and didn't pay for it.
  • 3 1
 @tacklingdummy: 90k is the MINIMUM amount after taxes. Her net could be 500k. Travel costs will be picked up by sponsorship just like her Porsche.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: Yeah, but do you really know how much she makes? Travel expenses for her traveling to train because she doesn't have world class training grounds at her home is highly unlikely covered by her sponsors. Sponsors probably cover travel to races and contract sponsor events.
  • 4 1
 @iamamodel: my point is, one cannot see the depth of personality by reading stuff like this. Every single fricking one of us has treats others would find unacceptable personally and incompatible with beliefs of the greater public. However very few of us allow these traits to show, When you get interviewed (and who the hell does?!) some of this spills over... and those quiet onwatchers get outraged. Especially since the faulty expactation is that a celebrity should be an exemplary human being - why the hell should I pay attention to her then?! I came here to learn something, that's why I read it, right? Well no... most of people reading these interviews come here purely out of entertainment. Most people hold celebrities like athletes on a pedestal, which is completely wrong and can even be psychologically harmful. In most cases we value people who are famous because we see others valuing them, we are simply submitting to opinion of others. This inevitably leads to pushing ourselves down. You cannot elevate someone without putting yourself down, it is at least very hard, and definitely not in a mental state accompanying browsing web recreationally. So when such athlete doesn't live up tp these high expectations, people get angry... again a mistaken assumption leading to wrong reaction.

And reaction is often judgment. Individual who has held the celebrity above themselves due to reasons I described before, which gets further amplified by "I came here to be entertained but I found something I don't agree with" suddenly feels that such person is below them. this releases additional aggression and will to be condescending. Not only that: because celebritiy "broke" common values, individual will try to gang up with others and throw sht at them.

To sum up: we are tasting our own crap if we treat web entertainment like interviews seriously. I am pretty sure, Emily looked back at this and thoght "I shouldn't have said this and that", "I said this and that well", and... "well, I don't care anyways".

We have to be aware though, that it is a privilege to hear athletes speak their mind in interviews, whatever it is. In Public Relations in advanced Politics, you keep statements meaningless and avoid answering ciritque because it is strongly advised to do so. Backlash from journalists and media will always be there and more you throw to them, the more will they feed on it, twist it the other way around. The only point of a politician to be out there, visible. The content is less important and does not need to have much integrity. You need an angle, that's it. All ends up as meaningless pulp and playing dumb.

Of all things, expecting examplary behavior from celebrities in random interviews is silly. But at the same time, well. That's the price for being known. Then you have to deal with lunatics who tell you that you are amazing and you changed their life...
  • 3 2
 @tacklingdummy: traveling to races will be covered. It's her decision to train somewhere else. There are lots of Olympic athletes that train fine in Canada and other winter climates so I see it as another excuse.
  • 1 0
 @Rwbooth: Totally agree
  • 42 0
 Interesting insight into the team dynamic at Trek, or rather lack thereof. She's training by herself in Arizona and paying out of pocket to do so, her husband is her coach, but doesn't seem to be paid for by the team as most coaches are, and she barely knows her teammate, and doesn't stay in the same hotels as the team. Doesn't sound like a great situation to be honest.
  • 12 3
 trek is probably busy spending money on their newer protégé, you know that pretty blond girl in her 20s
  • 3 0
 I was thinking the same thing. I can't see this being the norm for most WC XC Teams but maybe I'm wrong.
  • 15 1
 The truth about most sponsored racers in sports. Here is a cool bike, team support for said bike, and sponsor clothing, along with a small salary. Good luck!
  • 5 3
 Good point. and the other Trek riders, Neff and Anton Cooper, have not exactly excelled this year. I wouldn't be surprised if the environment at teams such as Trek and Specialized , is not ideal for performance.
  • 4 1
 @pcassingham: dude there are tons of US pros who can't even afford to race world cup races in Europe because they have to pay for everything. You guys are clueless.
  • 3 0
 @clink83: I understand that, I was just guessing that sponsored riders for Factory Race Teams like Trek, Specialized, etc would have a bit different of a team dynamic than the one she is painting. Apparently I am wrong though.
  • 4 2
 @Madfella: I think you're spot on about Trek right now but off as far as Specialized is concerned.
Have you looked at the environment of the Specialized Gravity Team? Who was the first to jump the fence when Loic laid down his winning run? Have you seen Loic & Finn interact? It looks like a damn good team to me. And the support they get......Wow. If there's one thing that team needs it's a couple of Women riders to balance the books.

Given, the XC Team has really taken a beating this year with injuries, illness, winding down careers, team changes (Langvad, Gaze, Grotts, Kulhavý & Courtney) but have you seen them together before? Did you watch them at the Cape Epic the past two years? It looked like a family reunion on the finish line. Even the sponsored non-factory team folks joined in. Personally, it seems like a team I'd like to be part of even if it's going through a major rebuilding phase.

I know it's cool to bag on the Big S and some of it in the past was very warranted but I think you might want to dig a bit deeper before including them in the mess the Trek Factory Team seems to be in at this time.

  • 5 2
Gosh, take it easy soldier. The subject is EB and XCO. Not Specialized DH team, not Specialized Road team.
  • 3 2
 @Madfella: You brought Specialized into it...... and this Soldier taking it easy, LOL.
I didn't curse one single syllable. I used to be able to bring wallpaper down with a good stream of them.

I really like EB and made some comments earlier this year concerning the Trek Factory Team and the possibility of it being a source of her woes. I reiterate that I'm hopeful she'll bounce back; but I think that might include a change of team to bring it about.

Road Team? Wow, nice cheap shot. Just couldn't contain yourself could ya?
Too funny, all 5 I mentioned are Cape Epic winners. You know the biggest XC Race on the planet.

Now, is that Mad like angry or Mad like insane, or both? LOL

Have a good one Fella....
  • 4 0
 I know this is a crazy thought but Emily is Canadian and Yolanda is Swiss. Jolandas parents coach her, Emily's husband is her coach. It's pretty batshitshit crazy to think they should train together. Nino and Kate don't train together all the time, are you going to freak out about that?
  • 1 0
 Private coaches aren't paid by teams...even in WorldTour road teams. Usually the larger teams will contract one general coach that they consult with, and their job basically just looks after whatever the athlete/private coach are doing to ensure there's nothing egregious, and sync up training with race dates. The team coach will also do the primary coaching for domestiques or lower tier racers that don't have private coaches.
  • 1 0
 Even in big budget road teams the setup is similar, riders even say that they are like private contractors. They'll have their own coach and would only meet up with their team mates at training camps or in races.
  • 2 0
 @Madfella: Neff hasn't excelled this year?? She might not have won a World Cup, but has arguably been the most consistent female racer and could take the overall WC title this weekend. Oh yeah, she rode to 2nd at World Championship last weekend, too.
  • 44 2
 I’d rather meet Emily Batty than Beyoncé
  • 5 1
 Pretty sure the vast majority of PB readers agree with you on that one.
  • 2 3
 I'd rather insert anything at all> Emily than beyonce.
  • 5 0
 @thesharkman: "I'd rather insert anything at all> Emily than beyonce."
I'm not sure that came out as you intended it to :O
  • 24 0
 I appreciate this candid, introspective interciew. It's not east opening upd aharing vulnerable moments, and laying it all out before the world who will judge and criticize based off 1% of what they know about you. Thank you for your candor Emily. Wishing you the best for the Olympics and the future.
  • 20 1
 If home isn’t conducive to training at a World Cup level and travel for training 9 out of 12 months per year is a drain on the budget, might it be time to consider moving to a place that supports your chosen profession and sport to a higher level? Vancouver Island comes to mind, as does the Sea2Sky corridor. Pricier to live in maybe but if you’re cutting travel and training camp expenses by a ton it could be worth it.
  • 2 0
 @somebikeguy she said she needs the sun to be happy...
  • 4 1
 Right, so many athletes have made the sacrifice of picking up their lives to live where they need to train. Sounds like Emily wants "home base" to always be Brooklin, so it's hard to feel empathetic toward someone that feels the only option is inconveniently the most expensive one and illogical. Would make more sense to make somewhere else home base for those 9 months and keep the other 3 as a your solitude.
  • 22 0
 Hey, I'm a lonely burnout too!
  • 17 2
 I don't understand, there are two Canadian slots up for grabs and she's the highest placing Canadian rider in WC, World Champs and the Canadian national champion. Why doesn't she automatically get selected for Tokyo?
  • 28 0
 Pendrel and Smith are a fair way ahead of her in the WC rankings for this year.
  • 8 0
 In a lot of countries you don't get automatically selected for the Olympics. Even if there is nobody else, you still have to meet certain qualification demands. If nobody qualifies, then they just don't send anybody. I guess it has to do with the amount of money it costs to send someone to the Olympics.
  • 2 0
 IOC. International Olympic Committee. They want the best paid in-full, prerequisite forum athlete to go to those games
  • 16 3
 For a rider of her palmares in one of the most difficult and demanding sports on the planet, $90k seems like a pittance to me (here's hoping she makes far more than that!). Emily had a formula that worked and gained her podiums in World Cups, National Championships and top Olympic finishes. The fact that she has to fund her own support makes it feel like she's an amateur racer trying to reach a PR. Being a professional athlete is not so easy as you might think, and costs far more than you can imagine. Thanks, Emily, for sharing and I hope you're able to get things back on track for 2020! ANd I hope you can find the means to excel and thrive and live your best, happy racing life!

All the comments made me think of this Native American Proverb:
"Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins, 2 weeks." (or two moons)
  • 5 0
 According to google, $90k CAD = $67.5k USD.... definitely not swimming in cash, especially when your job involves travel, accomodations, food, etc (not to mention in countries with unfavorable exchange rates / cost of living). Plus if they had planned & budgeted out their season counting on that extra money and then it's not there, that torpedoes the whole plan.

I'm a little surprised that she's expected to fly her trainer around on her own dime... seems like something Trek would cover but idk.

Hope she can regain her flow in 2020, the women's field has been a blast to watch this year and more podium contenders = better show!
  • 7 7
 Average roadies in pro teams earn that without needing to pay for virtually anything. And there are hundreds of those blokes. Imagine what top 10 makes.
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: the 90k is after all her expenses travel cost etc etc. If she then chooses not to stay with her team at races then that's her choice
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: please tell me how much this friend of yours/ your family earns and which team he is riding for. And how many race days did he have 2018?
  • 4 0
 @bkm303: that's the minimum net amount required not to get funding. She could have netted $500k.
  • 21 6
 Gotta love the armchair MBAs who don't realize the CAD is worth ~25% less than the USD. 'Murica.
  • 20 0
 closer to 35%. plus the 2% your credit card charges for forex. travel to the US is a kick in the teeth financially.
  • 4 0
 @jamesbrant: My 9 days in California this summer hurt the wallet pretty bad.
  • 6 2
 @jamesbrant: Very true. Not worth going
  • 2 0
 @JesseE: Cali is hella expensive. Period. Glad I don't live there any more!
  • 1 0
 @jamesbrant: There's a great credit card for Canadians who travel. 4% cash back on foreign transactions. So net 1.5% cash back after 2.5% fee. Helps, a little.
  • 3 1
 Says the armchair MBA that doesn't realize the 90k figure being tossed around is the gov't minimum, not her actual salary.
  • 24 12
 Go Emily! It's all cool, just ride. Please more stuff in your videos from "technical riding", technical climbs included Wink

All the best
  • 11 5
 Typically in a sea of witch hunts and weird upvote/downvote brigades here, I like you. I get why others are like "Meh f*ck this girl" but you're always the one who seems to have a pretty well rounded perspective esp. when it comes to empathy/mental health/etc. If one could wade through your humor (I swear most of PB either misses the humor completely or misunderstands it) it's clear that empathy is there. Cheers.
  • 3 1
 @anchoricex: You nailed it. Waki is indeed the indelible voice of wisdom and reason on PinkBike.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: Well put, and true. Thanks @WAKIdesigns. Wishing Emily every bit of sunshine and success - she has earned it.
  • 10 0
 World Cup Ranking

Catharine Pendrel, 755 pts
Haley Smith, 685 pts
Emily Batty, 464 pts

UCI Ranking (updated today, with 2019 World Championships points)

Haley Smith, 1256 pts
Catharine Pendrel, 1138 pts
Emily Batty, 585 pts

And she is right, Canada has secured two places for the Olympics next year, I would say it is impossible to beat Switzerland, Netherlands or the USA and get three places. But it is a little more complicated than that

That is why she needs that top spot in Nové Město na Moravě.
  • 11 0
 Funny how she mentions Red Bull several times but doesn't really ever mention Trek in a good light.
  • 8 0
 Seems like a very odd team dynamic over at Trek to say the least...
  • 10 2
 Great Article. Such an accomplished racer and athlete, and truly an ambassador to the sport of Mountain Biking. I'm glad PB asked the hard questions about Emily and Jolanda's relationship. As a spectator, I'm taking it for what it is, but as a competitor, I'm still left to wonder if Emily's answer was somewhat padded. Either way, I'd love to see EB take a win for herself, her family and Canada. Go Emily.
  • 10 2
 "I would rather meet Ken Roczen than Beyonce."

I am now a bigger fan than ever. Kill it in the Czech Republic next season, EB!
  • 6 1
 Would you not train in the hardest conditions possible to make the racing a bit easier. I understand the need to be happy to get where you need to be for the season. but if your training prime conditions all the time what happens when your in slipping on yer arse down a rock garden in Andorra in the pissing rain.
  • 2 1
 I know this should be obvious, but about 80% of training miles are slow base miles, not shredding the gnar.
  • 31 25
 Sorry but zero tears shed on this one. We all have to make decisions in life. You could always get a job for minimum wage and take the bus to your job.
  • 24 5
 She isn't asking you to cry for her. She opened herself up to share her story.
  • 6 9
 @Rwbooth: agree. @CircusMaximus is a jealous prick who is nowhere near being top 3 in the world at anything at all. If he was, I'd have no problem with him driving a Porsche and expect support for driving the popularity of a healthy, athletics pursuit in his home country. He isn't though, so me thinks he should shut his opinionated trap.
  • 8 7
 @sinjins: haha yep it’s obviously me who is the opinionated prick. Wow, taking a comment section pretty personally there tough guy. If you don’t like to read opinions then don’t frequent a comment section. Mods this kind of name calling is cool?
  • 1 6
flag iammarkstewart (Sep 3, 2019 at 20:42) (Below Threshold)
 @CircusMaximus: Mod Squad! Mod Squad! Calling all cars, calling all cars...

If "jealous prick" is the "kind of name calling" that makes you leap for Mod assistance here...well...maybe you're in the wrong place. I'm not saying it's right, but this isn't a utopia and it requires a bit of a thicker skin.

Back to your regularly scheduled assumptions...
  • 7 0
 Needed to read something like this today. Keep yer head up and get back to kickin' ass Emily!
  • 4 0
 I am a huge Batty Fan but I feel that sponsors should pay for many of the things she is upset about. Anything "extra" should come out of her pocket. A country should only put money towards Olympic programs, Standard, Special, and Para. "Professional Athletes" should not get tax payers money. Other than that, I was pumped to see her in the top 10 and hope to see her do even better at Snowshoe!!! Also, the multiple national champion should be on the national olympic team!!
  • 8 3
 I like Emily. But athletes struggle all the time. It has been a little uncomfortable how many excuses she's been throwing out there week after week. Just train and race. If you got it then we'll see it.
  • 3 2
 What's really uncomfortable is watching you come out of the woodwork to criticize women riders week after week.
  • 4 1
 @clink83: as long as it's fact then I'm speaking it.
  • 4 0
 Emily, Santa Barbara is a pretty awesome training place in the fall. Roxcen, Reed, Eliot Jackson and Cianciarulo have all trained here over the past couple years for that reason.. Check it out
  • 2 0
 Would love to see Emily take a shot at the gaps on Castillo Ranch
  • 3 0
 Santa Barbara has choice training grounds for sure, but might not mesh with her assertion that "Arizona is cost-effective" and thus a more sustainable longer-term solution. Maybe she should check out Arkansas.
  • 20 14
 So wait, her training has been her training since 16?? And now she's married to him? That doesn't sit well with me.
  • 17 15
 it's a weird relationship. She sure comes across as single on social media. Maybe that's the marketing play?
  • 16 4
 Dude they've been together since both of them were teenagers. Cool it now...
  • 8 16
flag da1994canucks (Sep 3, 2019 at 9:23) (Below Threshold)
 @coachianmtb: weird as in she comes across as single on social media. Anyways its non of my business. Just stating how it comes across
  • 15 3
 @coachianmtb: So she was 16 being trained by another teenager huh?
  • 39 3
 Mark is 32, Emily is 31. Nothing too weird there. They were training partners at First and then obviously got married and he is now her coach. Again, not weird at all.

And the dude saying she comes across as single on IG. You serious? She's an athlete paid to post pictures on Instagram. I wouldn't expect much non sponsor, non mountain bike related content on her page. Do you want her to exclusively state her relationship status? You're right not much of your business.
  • 14 3
 @coachianmtb @da1994canucks:

SMH, imagine talking about an elite international mtb athlete as if she's an insta-thot thirst trap account. How exactly does she come across single? Did she send you flirty DMs? Get a life.

Stay thirsty my friends....
  • 12 0
 How do most guy pro mt bikers come across on IG? Are they posting about their relationships with their significant others much? I would say the same standard applies.
  • 7 7
 @RCederholm: IMHO a big part of her branding is her sex appeal. So be it, that's a different topic. Yes, many other MTB Pro's are showing their signifiant others and speak about them on a regular occasion.
  • 2 0
 @mm2344: he's 39 now? He was 32 in 2012
  • 1 0
 @makripper same! .. also @da1994canucks different last name too?
  • 1 0
 @mm2344: Her husband is Adam Morka. Mark is her brother.
  • 1 0
 Kate Courtney’s boyfriend is snuffalufagus . He exists, but you never see him. You see her Dad and mechanic all over her IG though. @da1994canucks:
  • 2 0
 It will be interesting to see if there will be any team changes in the near future. I don't see it as she has been such a great ambassador for Trek doing many appearances and supporting so many causes but who knows. Obviously, Neff is the top rider for Trek at this point and brings great visibility to the brand in Europe.
  • 2 0
 This is such bullshit, so she lost Government funding because in reality she makes so much money that the govt funding would be better spent elsewhere, her husband is a dosser who won’t pay his own travel so he relied on her funding. So now she plays the mental health card to get more clicks.
It seems like a lot of people have lost sight of the grind required to be at the top level of sport.
You want more money? Train like your life depends on it and win some races
  • 4 0
 ROXIT = I'm assuming this means Ken Roczen, Red Bull Athlete for HRC Honda.
  • 2 0
 what do you mean? what do you refer to?
  • 3 0
 @vhdh666: it's corrected now, there was "ROXIT?????" written in the "I'd rather meet Ken Roczen than Beyonce"-sentence previously
  • 5 0
 What's the testing she's referring to? Performance testing? Drug testing?
  • 5 1
 She kinda omitted that detail.
If it’s drug testing...then I have more questions
  • 5 0
 I would imagine it is something to do with criteria for being funded by the national governing body.
  • 31 0
 Income testing. Athletes making more than 90K a year after expenses do not get subsidized income (carding) from the government. Carding is an extra tax free $2100 a month.
  • 34 8
 @WhatAboutBob: thanks for the explanation.
Clearly she is making more than $90k AFTER expenses. Not sure I can really sympathize that no longer getting extra cash from the government leads her to decide not pay out of pocket to have her husband travel with her.
  • 11 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I'm sure I remember in one of her vlogs this year, she spoke abut how the travel/accommodation took up a large (majority?) portion of her income, but she needed to do it because home didn't have the training facilities.

She might earn a lot, but it sounded like lots got swallowed with being away training for 9months of the year. So maybe the extra Can $ was needed?
  • 27 5
 @othello: 90k a year for a couple that travels constantly sure doesn't sound like much.
  • 7 1
 @othello: travel/accommodation for training are deductible expenses
  • 2 0
 @othello: It's not so much that there are not training facilities here in Southern Ontario, but moreso that the trails are only open 6-7 months a year for traditional XC riding. Rest of the year is either mud season (closed entirely) or fat bike season on snow.
  • 7 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Thanks for the detail.

Leaves me with a couple of questions:

Were they relying on the government funding to also effectively fund a position for her husband? Where does her team sit in the discussion regarding finances?
  • 9 2
 @clink83: that AFTER expenses, and it could be substantially more...sound like it is at minimum $90k.

My point is that almost all athletes at that level are making sacrifices to pursue their sport...
She is getting paid probably a lot more than others as a Redbull athlete.
  • 11 0
 @WhatAboutBob: Deductible does not mean free....
  • 20 1
 @aaronjb: I guess at some point the answer would be 'mind your own business'.........this stuff's getting pretty personal, and we the internet don't need to know to be fair.
  • 17 0
 Having 25k slashed from your budget for training going into the season is pretty significant...
  • 2 0
 @WhatAboutBob: Any idea if this factors in "in-kind" type support, like a monthly rental fee consideration for the Porsche she drives? Or just actual dollars and cents?
  • 4 5
 I take it she isn't paying for that Porsche SUV that sits in her driveway?
  • 6 2
 @dhx42: she makes way more than any other xc female athlete with all her endorsements. Plus she has access to RedBull training.
  • 6 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Athletes careers are short, and they don't make that much money. Not enough to retire off that's for sure. I understand she lives and works with a like most adults. Pretty reasonable really.
  • 6 3
 @ReformedRoadie: Many European athletes are also getting government support. America is one of the few countries that has highly competitive mountain athletes (dh skiing, ski mountaineering, climbing, biking, trail running) with no government funding.

Also flying all over the world and spending a long time staying in Europe (especially on the CAD) takes a LOT of money. You can't be winning WC events if you're slumming it in hostels.
  • 26 0
 It's interesting to go to the Cycling Canada website and compare the 2019 to the 2018 carding criteria to see what changed. In both years the taxable income test bands were the same and on a sliding scale starting with full funding at $21,000 for an athlete making less than $60,000 and sliding down to $0 for athletes making over $90,000.

So unless her taxable income jumped from less than $60k to $90k in one year, the funding she lost would have been less than the maximum possible $21,000.

The site also has articles reporting Catharine Pendrel has been eligible for the same government funding at least as far back as 2014 - but has declined it annually to enable other athletes to receive her funding instead:
  • 4 0
 @jaydawg69: Any proof of that? I'd be willing to bet Neff or KC make more.
  • 4 1
 @jaydawg69: That's not really the point. I am willing to be that money represents 25-50% of her budget. All of the sudden you pull that away that can have a significant impact on your resources and schedule. Even if she makes more money than others, it has a significant impact on her financial planning and calculus.
  • 6 1
 @dhx42 there are more deserving people that should be funded imo. Catherine Pendral who makes significantly less money refuses the subsidy. Have you seen EB's house and vehicles?
  • 5 1
 @jaydawg69: Again, that's not the point. The point is, if you budgeted certain expenses and a significant portion of your income doesn't match your forecasts, that is going to impact your plans. In this case, Emily's training, which is what she is trying to explain and that makes sense. I think its far to say that change would have a negative impact on results - fair or not.

A discussion around various athlete's compensation and how they choose to spend/save there money is a pointless debate since none of us have any facts...
  • 1 8
flag ReformedRoadie (Sep 3, 2019 at 10:47) (Below Threshold)
 @dhx42: it is... but if what others have posted, that she drives around in a Porsche SUV...we’ll maybe if she had a Subaru Wagon the left over money could cover her husbands travel...just sayin’.
1. Again, AFTER expenses; I assuming flying to a WC is and staying at a reasonable hotel is an expense.
2. These are her choices. She chooses to drive an expensive car. To VLOG about whatever. To not spend her own money to have her husband accomplish her.

I get most other countries subsidize athletes so they can represent the country.
Unfortunately, that is pretty low on the issues that need addressed here.
  • 1 0
 @dhx42: I wouldn't blame her poor results with having 25k less in the budget. I would say it has more to do with the motivation of training. Hopefully she can find her way back as XC training must be super tough and lots of road miles.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: They aren't the sole blame, but adjusting to the new normal for her seemed to take some time. Some people really struggle with change. Hope she can find her way back.
  • 7 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I am guessing you have no idea how much money Emily makes, what her savings goals are post career, if she bought a Porsche or is given a free lease by a sponsor, what travel expenses are for both competition and training, what level of support her agreement with Trek, Redbull, or any other sponsors are, etc.

None of us are is a position to critique or anything because none of us know... Maybe Emily thought she could manage the change and it just didn't go well. Shit happens, but we shouldn't be lambasting her financial choices when we really don't understand her financial situation...
  • 3 5
 @dhx42: I know she could afford a Porsche SUV and that she is lamenting in a public forum / interview that she couldn’t afford for his husband to travel.
What does it matter if I don’t know the details?
  • 9 1
 @ReformedRoadie: she was just boasting about her new exhaust on her Porsche on IG.... don't portray something on Social Media and then blame your results on lack of government hand outs. Makes you look bad.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: she's sponsored by a dealership and those cars are loaned to her. She doesn't own a Porsche, she gets to drive it for promotional purposes. I'm not saying she should be complaining about a lack of government funding, but I think a lot of people think she's making more money than she is. Even if you read between the lines on social media it's clear she's not making a ton of money. Traveling to the US 9 months a year when the exchange rate is terrible is a massive cost. Losing that $25k a year is I'm sure a huge hit.
  • 1 0
 guaranteed she’s paid in American dollars
  • 1 1
 @formula411: duchebag testing failed...
  • 2 1
 @formula411: She wasn't taking away money from other riders. This is totally untrue and unfounded. And you should have a look at the definition of whining because you seem a bit illiterate.
  • 1 0
 @ebrown123: That sliding scale doesn't make much sense to me. Seems like it should be more linear scale. It is almost makes more sense to make less to qualify for the 21K.

It is like ACA healthcare subsidies in the US. If you make under 40K you quality for substantial money cuts or free healthcare. But make over 40K, and you get nothing and pay a lot for healthcare. A gradual sliding scale would reach more people and would be much more fair.
  • 2 0
 You say “clearly she’s making more than 90k”. How do you know this? Please don’t tell me that her having a Porsche Cayenne loaned to her from a local dealership. It’s promotion for the dealer as well. @ReformedRoadie:
  • 1 0
 @AngryPirate: that's the lowest limit of not receiving the subsidy. It has been discussed numerous times in the comments.
  • 6 0
 "Top 9"
  • 1 0
 So, like it or not, her drop in ranking based on this years results will likely make it even more difficult to keep her funding at its current level. I really hope she bounces back and identifies, specifically, the cause for her current drop.
  • 6 2
 go EB Canada is behind you!!
  • 4 0
 I think she went on a Keto diet too. Might have thrown off something.
  • 2 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 3, 2019 at 11:06) (Below Threshold)
 She wrote about it... I can hear all fireroad warriors going: it’s da droppah! So heavy! Remove it!
  • 5 5
 Batty is 58th in the UCI rankings, meaning there are many dozens of women who are garnering superior results with far less support. I don't see Batty turning this around. There are too many outstanding young riders coming up from the juniors and U23 ranks.
  • 3 0
 Let's face it, there are only 2 canadian riders who got superior results this year, Smith and Pendrel.

But you can deny that over the last 5 years Batty had been at the front every time it mattered. She won the canadian champs 4 years in a row including 2019, she was on the podium at Worlds in Nove Mesto in 2016, podium again at Lenzerheide last year and she was the first canadian at MSA. She was 4th at the Rio olympic race. She only really missed that little bit to beat the best of the best.

So yes this year she had a pretty bad world cup season. Haley Smith had a better overall season by having more consistency in the top 20 but I currently don't see her being able to match her in those one day big events right now. Pendrel is a world champ and podiumed at Rio but she will be 40 next year. Her chances are narrowing down every year. On a good day when all stars align I can see Maghalie Rochette doing good results (and she got a medal on an ebike this year) but she hasn't even been racing world cups. Other good canadian females were junior or u23.
  • 4 1
 That's like saying that Langvad is finished because she had a bad year. Batty isnt going anywhere, she still has plenty of years left as long as she wants to keep it up.
  • 4 3
 This girl has guts. She'll pull thru. I have no problem if some of my tax money supports her training because I'm a fan. She's a great ambassador for Canada and an inspiration to every aspiring Canadian athlete.
  • 10 7
 Canada always has your back Emily Batty. Looking forward to next season...
  • 3 2
 Canada pulled all her fundinding after a govt. Testing thing?
Emily desrves to be supported financially by the Canadian govt. But this sounds suspicious. Can any one elaborate on this testing thing? What happened?
  • 4 0
 @sinjins I’m a huge whiner. Plus a missing leg. But whatevs
  • 5 1
 I really wish I had her problems. They're much more interesting than mine.
  • 1 0
 For real.
  • 2 0
 I’m curious how much it cost to upgrade the exhaust on a Porsche Macan with AWE tuning haha
  • 2 0
 I think you have to be an orthodontist to know that one. Just a dentist won't cut it.
  • 3 0
 I wonder if she reads these comments....
  • 1 2
 Emily, you need a numbered/holding/operating company. Emily Batty Industries. Pay all business expenses(coaching,travel, husband and energy bars) from here and put yourselves on a more modest salary.(plus bonus/dividends)

Many people do this.
  • 2 0
 I would also rather meet Ken Roczen than Beyonce. Because Beyonce is trash.
  • 1 0
 Look forward to seeing her pop up on the SX as a short interview with the sports personality that is watching at the venue.
  • 28 26
 Pretty whiny. Lots of excuses.
  • 2 10
flag sinjins (Sep 3, 2019 at 14:02) (Below Threshold)
 And what's your excuse for not being anywhere near the top 3 in the world at anything at all? What's that? Speak up. *crickets*
  • 5 1
 @sinjins: All due respect, I don't think jbob27 was insinuating he/she is a WC XC racers nor was he/she whining about any topic other that EB
  • 3 1
 Whining is when you complain without being asking anything. That is what you are doing right now. On the other hand E. Batty was interviewed and asked about the source of her bad results. She gave some pointers and explanations. This is not whining.
  • 5 3
 Emily doesn't live near a good training ground...well fucking move then !!
  • 1 3
 The pinkbike forums have certainly evolved. Now we’re a bunch of judgemental old men complaining about government spending. I love it!

It’s silly to believe she’s given Porsche’s. I’d guess that she’s entitled to drive a Porsche for promotion. Could be a taxable benefit.

  • 1 0
 I'm guessing that Batty switches bike manufacturers in the near future since Trek signed Neff.
  • 3 3
 Man, a bunch of bitter, jealous talking heads running their mouths about Porsches.
  • 2 2
 Seems like a perfect time to find another passion. Life has so much more to offer.
  • 1 1
 And I thought free healthcare was the cure for everything...
  • 12 12
 Bit of a clickbaity title.
  • 42 2
  • 1 6
flag IntoTheEverflow (Sep 3, 2019 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
How did i go from 9 upvotes and zero downvotes, to 9 upvotes and 10 downvotes?
Not that i really care, but it's a bit weird.
  • 1 1
 You're not alone :-)
  • 2 1
 i hope you smash it,
  • 2 2
 This comment thread is a cesspool
  • 1 2
 If she is lonely, I'd gladly keep her company for training and at races.
Below threshold threads are hidden

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