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BMX and the Olympic Dream

Posted: October 30, 2012 by belindap86 in Sport

Despite a severe crash in May that saw him severely rupture his spleen, BMX cyclist Tory Nyhaug was determined to represent his country at the London 2012 Olympics.

The 20 year old Canadian’s remarkable recovery from surgery just eight weeks before the games meant that he was able to compete and was indeed selected, something Nyhaug doesn’t take for granted.

Tory recovering after surgery on June 3 to remove his ruptured spleen

“It really takes some grit to keep on pushing when things get tough” he says, admitting that his path to the games was both ‘not ideal’ and ‘unique’.

The sport of BMX is itself unique, beginning in California in the late 1960s with ties to motocross before spreading internationally. With the inception of the International BMX Federation in 1981, BMX’s identity was described as having “more in common with cycling than motorcycling”.

Introduced to the Olympic program only four years ago at Beijing, the Official Website of the Olympic Movement describes BMX as “one of the fastest and youngest cycling disciplines.”

Nyhaug’s passion for the sport began at just four years old, when he began riding at his local BMX track. Since then, his passion for competition has led him to consecutive National Junior Titles, a consistent top five ranking in the world since becoming pro and of course, a quarter-final appearance at his first Olympic Games.

Mpora catch up with World Contender : Tory Nyhaug. a BMX Racing video by corinnewalder

In ths video recorded by the action sports website, MPORA, Tory talks about his career highlights.

Although he admits it was “definitely hard to compete with some of the premier events in the Olympics” Nyhaug managed to find plenty of support – “whenever I told someone I was in BMX they thought it was really cool”.

“In London it was one of the first events sold out and that shows a lot” he says. “Hopefully we can get some more racing on TV and build a bigger viewing audience around the world.”

Tory with Australian cycling gold medallist Anna Meares at the London games

There is little doubt that Nyhaug’s motivation to race stems from his love of competition -“I love the challenge of beating someone else and striving to be the best I can possibly be” he says, but appreciates that like any sport, it should remain fun. “No matter if its practice or the Olympics, I always remember to enjoy what I’m doing.”