I first encountered Amy when she showed up in Colorado Springs for a cross race last fall. It was hard to miss her - she had a Subaru wrapped with her name on it and looked like the real deal. When I saw her in person, I was shocked with how little she was. (I'm somewhat Amazon, okay?)
Earlier this summer, I raced in Laramie, Wyoming along side Amy. We started chatting during the 10 mile roll out to the infamous hill and quickly swapped cycling stories. She was just starting her season and getting some intensity in for a nice cross season overseas. Dressed in her Belgium team clothing, cycling visor, and shiny Oakley glasses, I remember looking over and seeing a big smile stretched across her face. I told her about my piloting experiences and she laughed along. I wished her the best of luck in the coming season knowing the looming hill would shoot me out of the back like a canon.
A few months later, I was racing in Canada at the ParaCycling World championships. The hotel we stayed at also housed the Belgium, Swedish and British Cycling teams. During one of our team training rides, a Belgium coach came up to me and we started talking. He asked where I was from and I proudly responded Colorado.
"Do you know Amy Dombroski?"
"Yes! I met her this summer. She's great!"
"She stays with my family when she's training in Belgium," he said. I could tell by his smile Amy held a special place in his heart. It was nice knowing that thousands of miles away, Amy linked two strangers by way of her infectious smile.
And now the news of Amy's death hits hard. She was doing what she loved, living the dream and making it count. I feel so fortunate for having known her, even though our encounters were brief. My heart goes out to those who are now mourning her loss. Thank you, Amy, for being you.
(Photo from CyclingNews.com)