After graduating from Grinnell, where she ran cross country, Christine Thorburn ’92 went to Nepal on a Fulbright. Upon her return, she attended Stanford Medical School where she earned an M.D. and completed a fellowship in rheumatology. A knee injury limited her running, so she turned to cycling.
Thorburn competed in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where she finished fourth in the time trial and 15th in the road race. She also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, placing 52nd in the road race. Grinnellians have an audacious spirit that finds success even when their path in life diverges.
A trek around the world and a talent discovered.
Christine Thorburn ’92 is a typical Grinnellian except for two small details; she is a world champion and an Olympian. She was selected for the Olympics in 2004 by winning the women's individual time trial at the U.S. Cycling Federation national championships in Redlands, California. She then went on to place 4th in the Athens Olympics women's time trial passing 4 women along the way. In 2005 she was atop the women’s 24 kilometer cycling circuit. She raced for the Webcor Builder’s Women’s Professional Cycling team. She practices rheumatology medicine in California.
At Grinnell, Thorburn ran for the varsity Womens Cross Country Team, the Skull Crushers. Unfortunately, she was sidelined her senior year due to a stress fracture in her knee. After Grinnell and a chemistry major, she travelled to Nepal on a Fulbright Scholarship and then attended Stanford Medical School. At Stanford she picked up a new sport because she couldn’t run -- cycling. In 1998 she joined Stanford’s club cycling team on a whim and qualified for the Collegiate National Championships later that year. She graduated Stanford Medical School in 1999 and continued studies as a rheumatology postdoctoral scholar.
Matt Rosenbaum ’12
Sources: (Grinnell Magazine Fall 2004, Summer 2008. Grinnell Cyclone 1992. www.procyclingwomen.com/Christine-Thorburn)