Unbreakable

She has beaten invasive cancer, broken world records and overcome emotional and physical challenges. Karen Newman doesn’t just chase her dreams, she catches them



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Karen Newman sprinted from the water ahead of the pack, peeled off her wetsuit and made for her bike at the World Triathlon Championships in London last summer. When she grabbed it, the USA team member discovered that her bike had been tampered with and the bolts on the handlebars had been loosened. As she watched her fellow competitors speed away, along with her gold-medal dreams, Karen made a split-second decision. She would ride the treacherous, rain-slicked course with no hands. “I was the top American. I was in first place. I was not going to be defeated,” she says.

Pedaling as fast as she dared, and tapping the handlebars to keep the front wheel straight, Karen did finish the 40-kilometer course that day. “It took me a long time,” she says. “That hurt.” As a consolation prize, she bought a blue leather jacket at a chic London boutique. But she also made a promise to herself. Instead of letting the loss get her down, she would use it to spur herself on. Four weeks later, Karen went on to win four gold medals at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, setting a new world triathlon record in the process.

Wife, mother, athlete, cancer survivor—Karen Newman knows a thing or two about resilience and perseverance, of never taking no for an answer, of turning challenges into opportunities and always holding fast to one’s dream.

“As bad as London was—and it was bad—everything was redeemed in Utah,” she says over tea in the living room of her Old Greenwich home one afternoon this past December. When Karen says everything, she’s not just talking about winning medals and setting records. She’s talking about the serendipitous moments, the people and the kindness she met along the way. Like her seatmate on the flight from JFK, which was delayed by several hours, who insisted on driving her straight to the stadium in St. George so she wouldn’t miss the opening ceremonies. She’s talking about getting to the packed stadium just minutes before the ceremonies started and having seats suddenly open up in the front row. And, finally, she’s talking about the inconvenience of having to ride her bike to the pool for a practice swim because there was no shuttle bus available. “I was cycling on a four-lane highway. It was terrible. But…” and here she grins. “I realized my cable was about to go. I needed a bike shop fast.” She got off the highway at the next exit and what did she see? The Red Rocks Bike Shop. “If that hadn’t happened, it would have ruined my race,” she says.

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Cool and Collected ‘14

    2014.07.10
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    (Gallery 1) Featuring artists:  Carla Goldberg, Melanie Kozol, Francis Sills, and Eve Stockton Summer exhibition at Kenise Barnes...

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • Exhibit: Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.03
     @ Bruce Museum

    May 3 – August 31, 2014 Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing This exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading...

  • Happy Hour Beauty Thursdays!

    2014.06.30
     @ ELLELA Cosmetics & Lashes

    Our Summer Happy Hour Beauty Thursdays are back at ELLELA Cosmetics! Hit the top of Greenwich Ave from 4pm to 8pm for the BEST Blowouts before...

  • Wine Time Social Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.27
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    $4.00 select wines, $4.00 well drinks, and $3.00 beers.

  • Happy Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.26
     @ Morello Italian Bistro

    Refresh yourself with our famous Red & White Sangria! Don’t forget that during happy hour every day 4:30pm-6:30pm your 2nd drink...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Wine Time Social Hour

    2014.08.29
     @ Barcelona Wine Bar

    Fairfield Monday - Friday 3 - 6:30pm $5 select wines, $4 well drinks, $3 beers. 3 for $16 tapas Greenwich Monday - Friday 4 - 7...

  • Seaside Center: Arts and Crafts

    2014.07.18
     @ Seaside Center

    Let your creativity float free! Practice the art of Gyotaku fish prints; make a sundial, a shell wind chime, or fish bowl! Activities vary every...

  • Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.09
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    Each Friday we feature new wines just released and new to market for you to have an opportunity to taste and learn about through our sponsored...

  • Saturday Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.10
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    We will feature an array of new and different International wines that are selected by our staff as “Staff Picks Favorites” in...

  • Polo Benefit for Hope

    2014.08.31
     @ Greenwich Polo Club

    For the second year in a row, Virginia's House of Hope is having a fundraiser at the Greenwich Polo Club! Join us on Sunday, August...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Animal Meet and Greet

    2014.06.22
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 22 - August 31, 3:30 - 4:00pm Stop by for a chance to meet one of our Overbrook Nature Center or Heckscher Farm animals up...

  • Bar: Live Music | Greenwich, CT

    2014.03.09
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    Join us in Greenwich every Sunday for live music and half-priced bottles of wine!

  • Exclusive Tour of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery

    2014.09.09
     @ Yale University Art Gallery

    Join JCC Greenwich for an exclusive tour with museum curator Elizabeth Manekin. The collection is noteworthy for exemplary works from the...

  • Understanding the Gaza War: Strategic & Political Implications

    2014.09.09
     @ Greenwich Library, Cole Auditorium

    Dr. Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic...

  • Bruce Museum: Look and See - Into the Deep

    2014.09.10
     @ Bruce Museum

    A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through...


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