Growing up surrounded by the beautiful North Shore mountains, it probably had something to do with Claire’s love for racing and riding mountain bikes. That and her desire to be a champion, her drive to achieve, progress, compete, learn and grow.
For Claire, riding bikes is an outlet for expressing energy, a challenge and an adventure every day. She also just likes being out in the forest.
Based out of Whistler, Claire is a World Championship Bronze Medalist, multiple Canadian National Champion, 11 time Canadian National Team Member and has been to all corners of the globe racing, riding and adventuring on her bike. Now married to Aussie DH legend, Chris Kovarik, she gets to spend some of the cold winter months on the tropical coast of Queensland.
In 2011, Claire and Chris began Kovarik Racing. It is an entity from which they can give back and offer all aspects of their trade: racing, coaching, rider development and being great ambassadors of their sport.
Claire successfully represents herself and her sponsors through her talent, personality, media, coaching and results.
I love achieving things on my bike, whether it’s competitive or personal. Whether it’s a result I’ve been striving for or a big adventure pedal up to the top of a mountain.
I wouldn’t say it is one particular result or thing. I think my greatest achievement has been having this passion and pushing through challenges to come this far in the sport I love.
I’d say money and support is one of the bigger difficulties. There are a lot of really talented athletes with potential in this sport but not enough funding and full team support to go around. That’s just the way it is. You can see the racers that have full support and can take the time to be fully committed, they are set apart from the rest, a step ahead. They are also amazingly well rounded athletes that bust their asses. You have to work hard, stand out and jump on every opportunity.
Doing my best regardless of how I’m feeling. Putting together a solid performance and having it pay off is such a great feeling.
I’m lucky to live in a place where there are amazing trails and venues to ride. When the snow rolls in, I head to Australia for a few months and that allows me to stay on my bike.
I do some strength, rehabilitation and mobility work in the gym and Yoga that compliments my riding, maintains my overall health and helps to prevent myself from injuries. I think that is key to a long career in the sport. That, and remaining positive, grateful and ceasing opportunities that come your way.
Crashing is what you are always trying to avoid and that fear is what mostly doesn’t allow you to go as fast as you want to. There are consequences if you crash in this sport: injuries and, if you are going against the clock, seconds!
I don’t know. I think maybe some of my closest friends and family because they know more about me and what I’ve been though and come out the other side of to get to where I am.
That I can. That it’s possible. I never heard it from anyone in particular, that is just what I turned it into in my head.
Continue being a strong figure in this sport for as long as it fits into my life. To be in a position to inspire others is an honor. Continue racing, riding, coaching, developing young talent. Doing fun media projects and helping the brands and companies that help me.