- Two time Paralympian - 2008, 2012
- 11 time Para-cycling World Championship medalist
- Eight time Para-cycling National Champion
- UCI Para-cycling World Cup Champion
- 1st - Scratch Race, Para-cycling Track World Championships
- Silver - Individual pursuit and 500m TT, Para-cycling Track World Championships
- Won 3/3 Para-cycling World Cup Time Trials
- 4th - Time Trial, London Paralympic Games
- 2nd - Individual Pursuit, Para-cycling Track World Championships
- 3rd - Individual Time Trial, UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships
- 1st - Individual Pursuit, Para-cycling Track National Championships
- 4th - 500m TT, UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships
GRETA NEIMANAS - 2012 USA Paralympic Team
D.O.B.: May 4, 1988
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current City: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA
Twitter handle: @gretaneimanas
Specialty: All around
Neimanas was born without a left arm below the elbow. She grew up participating in Paralympic sports programs at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). She went to Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, where she was captain of her varsity soccer team. When she was 16 years old, she entered an essay contest sponsored by RIC and Paralympic Academy Program with a topic about "What Ability Means to Me," and won a trip to the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. There, Neimanas watched cycling events and was inspired to take up competitive cycling, which she started in the spring of 2005, entering in bike races throughout Chicago.
Within a year of starting her competitive career, Neimanas was invited to a U.S. Paralympics National Team camp in Chula Vista, Calif., and then moved to Colorado Springs, CO, in 2007 to continue her training as a resident at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (OTC). She stayed only one semester at the University of Indiana in the fall of 2006 after becoming a resident at the OTC where she trained from 2007-2011. She currently resides in southern California.
Neimanas was part of the International Paralympic Experience, a grassroots education and outreach initiative of U.S. Paralympics. When not training or competing, Neimanas enjoys photography, reading, blogging, wearing tall socks, road trips and sunglasses.
If you weren’t bike racing, you would be...?
I would probably be looking for adventures… like the ones I have racing bikes.
Favorite meal when training?
Salad with grilled chicken and curly pasta in it.
Favorite meal when you can eat whatever you want?
Cheeseburger and fries.
What made you want to become a bike racer?
Seeing track racing at the 2004 Paralympics made me want to start racing. It looked exhilarating and ridiculous and I thought the athletes were crazy for doing it so, naturally, I wanted to try it. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Who is an inspiration to you in your life, both on and off the bike?
My teammates are definitely inspiring- seeing how hard they work, the sacrifices they make and the dedication to their craft is pretty incredible. It lights a fire inside me. In addition to teammates, anyone with the courage to chase their dream is inspiring. Whenever anyone is willing to put everything on the line, to put their “real lives” on hold, to risk it all to go after what they want is something not many people are willing to do.
The best thing about being a bike racer is?
Traveling and experiencing the world in a unique way. Cycling has taken me to five continents and dozens of countries around the world. It’s taught me about myself and others and introduced me to incredible people including my best friends.
Favorite place you’ve raced your bike and why?
Rome, Italy. Pretty much anywhere in Italy is fantastic but to have the opportunity to race in old Rome was incredible. There’s history everywhere, the people are welcoming, and there’s never a dull moment!
Favorite cross training or off season activity?
(Snow) skiing is definitely a favorite activity for the offseason. I also use the offseason to catch up with friends and family that I’ve missed during the race season.
Favorite things to do off the bike:
•Go on road trips
•Try new things
Top 10 warmup/pre-race songs on your iPod:
•Lupe Fiasco - The Show Goes On
•Willie Nelson - The Scientist
•Johnny Cash - When the Man Comes Around
•Sondre Lerche - Let My Love Open the Door
•Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks
•The Lumineers - Ho Hey
•Taylor Swift - Sparks Fly
•Editors - Road to Nowhere
•The Cave - Mumford & Sons
•Why Don’t We Just Dance - Josh Turner