BOISE -- The Gem State has had plenty of Olympians in the past. Idahoans like Kristin Armstrong and Nick Symmonds have represented the United States on the biggest of stages.

One Boise woman is living her dream, while at the same time, trying to encourage other to do the same.

Professional cyclist Kristin McGrath knows a thing or two about adversity.

You don't spend a year rehabbing if you don't truly love it, said McGrath. Anytime you can overcome adversity and look back on it, you learn a lesson.

Three years ago she was hit by a truck while training and suffered a near career ending injury.

I've definitely learned a lot about myself and what's important to me, said McGrath.

Since the accident, the 30-year-old has become a rising star in the women's cycling world, and is having her best season yet.

I was second on the first stage, McGrath said. And we ended up winning the overall. So I was third at Gila. We went to tour de California, and I was able to jump again on the podium there, third place.

Top five among US women cyclists, McGrath is an Olympic hopeful for the next games in three years.

I'm definitely shooting for Rio 2016. I think it's a realistic goal where I am right now, said McGrath.

And along the way, she is hoping to spread a message like that of her friend and coach, Kristin Armstong. One that will inspire girls and young women to reach for the stars.

My message is that confidence is beauty, and athletecism is beauty, McGrath. Being confident and following your dreams, that's beauty.

All while following her own dreams, and perhaps representing her country in the Olympics.

Everytime you pull out that spandex American flag is special. It is. I'm excited for what's to come.

McGrath is currently training for the Giro Rosa, a week long race around Italy. She will be competing for the US national team.

Read or Share this story: