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An Inside Look at Diabetes and Cycling: Part 2

Team Novo Nordisk (TNN) is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes UCI Professional Continental cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk came together to create Team Novo Nordisk based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes.  Learn more here.  

We asked a couple team members how their life was affected by their diagnosis and how they’ve continued to thrive as professional cyclists with diabetes.

Stephen Clancy: Stephen received his Type I Diabetes diagnosis during a training camp in 2012. In the hospital, he was told extreme levels of exercise would make it almost impossible to manage his condition. Stephen wasted no time in finding a solution and discovered TNN within 24 hours of being discharged. Six months later signed he signed with the team.

What was it like when you found out that you had diabetes?
I thought my cycling dreams were over. I was told I could only cycle a mile. So at first, I was shocked and disappointed, but this didn’t last for long, thankfully! I soon found out about Team Novo Nordisk and realized it wasn’t the end of the world!

What is your favorite race or place to ride, and why?
Catalonia. I’ve lived in Girona for most of the last three years and just recently moved to Barcelona. In both locations, I’ve ridden on some of the nicest roads and even better mountain bike trails. I love having the coast nearby, beautiful cities, and a maze of single tracks all on my doorstep.

What is one thing you would like to say to your fellow diabetic community (advice, encouragement, motivation)?

Don’t let diabetes be a barrier in pursuing your dreams. It’s an obstacle that can be overcome. Having the right mindset is key.

Fabio Calabria: At age 13 Fabio was hospitalized for two weeks where he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Fabio was the first rider to be signed by TNN’s predecessor team, Team Type I, and is in his 7th season of professional racing.

What was it like when you found out that you had diabetes?
I saw it as a relief or a second chance, if you will. I was diagnosed in the emergency room of a hospital and was in a coma for three days. On the way to the hospital, I had said my peace and expected death. So to be told that I would be fine was a massive relief.

What is one thing you would like to say to your fellow diabetic community (advice, encouragement, motivation)?
First off, welcome to the team. Second, focus on the positives. Diabetes lets you be so connected with your body in a way most people are not. This is a huge advantage for athletes and non-athletes. Be the person you want to be, not the person people tell you to be.

What are your favorite Honey Stinger products and flavors?
WAFFLES–caramel waffles! But honestly, all the waffles.

What is an interesting fact about yourself?
I love old cars and have one of my own, a 1977 Chevy Nova named Darlene.

To follow Team Novo Nordisk click here.