Calgary·Q & A

Kate O'Brien, Monique Sullivan on forming terrific cycling tandem

Kate O'Brien and Monique Sullivan have a lot in common. Both are born-and-bred Calgarians. Both are 26-years-old. Both are very much into Twitter and Instagram. And the similarities don't end there.

#OurAthletes helps connect you with local athletes competing at the 2015 Pan Am Games

Kate O'Brien and Monique Sullivan will be representing Canada in track cycling at the upcoming Pan Am Games in Toronto. (@empty_kate/Twitter)

Kate O'Brien and Monique Sullivan have a lot in common.

Both are born-and-bred Calgarians. Both are 26-years-old. Both are very much into Twitter and Instagram.

And the similarities don't end there.

  • Follow Kate on Twitter: @empty_kate and on Instagram: @emptykate
  • Follow Monique on Twitter: @mmj_sullivan‎ and on Instagram: @mmj_sullivan‎
  • Follow the hashtag #OurAthletes for read stories about Team Canada members.

O'Brien and Sullivan will be representing Canada in track cycling at the upcoming Pan Am Games in Toronto. In fact, they'll be racing together in the women's team sprint event. The Calgary duo is ranked fourth going into the competition. 

As part of the #OurAthletes project, CBC Calgary will be connecting you with some of the local athletes who will be competing at the 2015 Pan Am Games.

We caught up with the pair via email this week while they were competing at a Pan Am tune-up event in Trexlertown, PA.

Calgary's Kate O'Brien will be competing in women's keirin, women's sprint, and women's team sprint at the 2015 Pan Am Games. (Cycling Canada)

Q.   In team sprint, you race within centimetres of each other. How much trust do you need to have in each other? 

Monique: I am usually riding as 'second man' so I am usually following Kate. There is an element of trust there because I am riding as close as I can, but I think the more we ride together, the better we are getting at riding as a unit and it becomes less about trust and more about being as synchronized as possible. 

Q.   Have you ever collided?

Kate: I'm always scared of falling! But we've been lucky so far not to have had any collisions on the track.

Q.  When you go riding for fun, what is your favourite route?

Monique: I love riding the track but I also love to mountain bike whenever I get a chance. In Calgary, my favourite trails are in Bowmont park ("Sideshow Bob" is what we call it) and I really love the trails in Bragg Creek too.

Kate: To be honest, we don't get many opportunities to just ride for fun, though training itself is pretty fun for me. I still really love heading out on nice days and being outside on my bike when I can just coast and ride easy.If it was all downhill that would be my favourite; after all, coming from bobsleigh, I'm not used to having to work against gravity. (Kate is also a member of Canada's Bobsleigh team)

Q.  Have you ever tweeted something you later regretted?

Kate: It's kind of funny because we both sort of check each others tweets before posting them. We're both worried our tweets will be misinterpreted. Twitter has become a way to connect with the community and to share our stories.

Monique Sullivan will be competing in women's keirin, women's sprint and women's team sprint at the 2015 Pan Am Games. (Cycling Canada)

The 2015 Pan Am Games go from July 10 - 26. The track cycling competition begins on July 16.

Follow the action at cbc.ca/panam

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