Name: Nic Long Number in Rio: 64 Country: USA Result: 4th
How big was your struggle even making it to the Olympics? Nic: The struggle is always going to be as hard as you make it.. I worked hard all year, and Kurt had my program spot on. I was prepared for everything.
Name: Manon VALENTINO Number in Rio: 971 Country: France Result: 8
When was the point for you that you thought you had a good chance of going to the 2016 Olympics in Rio? Manon: My goal the last 4 years was to increase my level and to be good enough to have a chance to win a medal at the Olympics.
Name: Lauren Reynolds Number in Rio: 21 Country: Australia Result: Semi finalist
When was the point for you that you thought you had a good chance of going to the 2016 Olympics in Rio? Lauren Reynolds: Rio 2016 had always been on my radar since the Olympic Games introduced bmx racing. Once I made my first Olympic team in 2012, and falling short of my expectations and result, 2016 Games soon became a target.
Can you explain what kind of sacrifices you have to make as a professional BMX racer to be on top of your game all the time? Lauren Reynolds: Being a professional athlete of any sport isn't easy, the road certainly isn't as smooth as it's shown to be. When you set yourself dreams and goals most athlete will do what ever it takes to achieve them, and this usually comes with a cost.
With 4 years to get ready for the 2016 Olympics, Liam Philips was in the best position in his life to do so, up until 8 weeks before the Rio Games. Liam talks about the disappointment of not being able to race, but as he always does, he's moved on, making strides, and getting ready for the 2017 season. Part 3 concludes the ride to Rio, but gives us insight and a look into Liam's personal life as well. Enjoy!
Name: Yoshitaku Nagasako Number in Rio: 993 Country: Japan Result: 1/4 finals, 12th in TT
"The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
Name: Merle van Benthem Number in Rio: 75 Country: The Netherlands Result: Semi final
How big was your struggle even making it to the Olympics? Merle: To be honest it was a pretty rough road to Rio. Had to deal with a fractured back, a torn ACL and a pretty bad concussion but once I made it, it was all worth it.
What were your personal goals two weeks before the Olympic race? Merle: My goals were to medal.
How much different did the track look when you saw it for the first time? Merle: The track looked a lot different during the Olympics than the first time we saw the track at the test event. Not just the green asphalt turns but the track looked way smoother and faster than during the test event.
How big was your team arond you in Rio? (mechanic, coach, nutrition, physio, family/friends, etc...) Merle: My parents and brother came out to Rio to support. My best friend who is a Dutch track cyclist and other couple Dutch athletes were in the stands to support. And of course the Dutch staff.