Monday, August 6, 2012

Hear from the U.S. Olympic BMX Cycling Team

Alise Post chats with reporters.
Alise Post chats with reporters.
Alise Post - St. Cloud, Minnesota  
I didn’t start dedicating myself to BMX full time until I was 18. I’ve made exponential improvements since moving out to San Diego. One, I think getting to ride all year was a huge jump in results. Number two, just focusing on one thing eliminates a lot of distractions and you are able to put all of your energy into one thing.
When I got injured last year I felt like I had been doing really well and like I was kind of blowing it at the last minute. Olympic points were starting and I was just wondering how I’m going to make up this points difference. The Olympics were a year out and they are telling me I have an eight month recovery time. After I got through surgery and got on the recovery trail, I decided I wasn’t going to let it beat me. I was going to give it my all and do what I could and I was able to make a five month turnaround. I was so happy and I had a great medical team behind me during that.
Connor Fields is my training partner. He’s obviously been pretty successful on the world cup circuit and it’s great to have such people behind. He is able to lift me up when I’m down and I think it is good for us both. He is on me all the time. Sometimes he is a little tough on me and plays coach when he is training partner, but in all it has helped me a lot.
Connor Fields - Henderson, Nevada
I’m excited. When you get here and see the arena and everything you can’t help but get excited. I wish we raced tomorrow. I just trying to enjoy all the little things and embracing the opportunity.
When I leave here I want to know that I gave 100% of everything I have, whether that gets me fifth place or a medal. I believe if I do that and with a little luck I get a medal.
The format of this event rewards riding smart and riding consistent because there is no single elimination. You have to race three heats or five heats so it is going to reward someone who races well throughout. Then the final is just going to be about who seizes that moment and is able to give everything they have when it matters most.
This track is good, but it is not too difficult. It isn’t one of the more difficult we race on so it is going to make for tighter racing and hand-to-hand combat.

Connor, David and Nic take some time to smile during Saturday's press conference.
Connor, David and Nic take some time to smile during Saturday's press conference.
David Herman - Wheat Ridge, Colo.
My goal headed into this Olympics is to get a medal. I’m coming off the best season I’ve ever had. I was able to get three World Cup podiums in the last ten months and fifth at the World Championships, so anything but a medal would be disappointing. The opportunity to compete here and represent my country is already one big goal completed and now it is time for the next.
Nic Long - Lakeside, California
This track here in London is from an observation standpoint is just a really beautiful track. It is really clean and has grass everywhere. Riding it as well it is a smooth, fast track. The asphalt is really smooth and the jumps are really well managed and well placed. Big enough jumps for how fast we are going to be going.
I keep a pretty level head and don’t get too excited about seeing other athletes. It is cool seeing people in the village I was watching last week on TV.
Brooke Crain - Visalia, Calif.
Arielle has been such a good leader to all of us and she has helped us all to where we are now.   I’ve been put in a situation to help my team and I am now focused and eager to take to the track and represent my country well.

The whole team went for a ride with NBC and NIghtly News anchor Lester Holt on Friday.
The whole team went for a ride with NBC and NIghtly News anchor Lester Holt on Friday.
Mike King, USA Cycling BMX Programs Director
The first straight has changed. When we were here in August we had separate first straights and turns for men and women. For the Games we will have a singular first straight and first turn, then it will split off into their own. The women will veer off to the left and veer into a tunnel and the guys will hit a hip jump and cross over.
It actually will even the playing field a little bit. You will have a good opportunity from lane one and lane eight. Before there was some questions on whether one and eight were equally fair for the competitors. The first straight is about strength and power and is so crucial.

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More photos in USA Cycling's photo gallery. 

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