You need strength, skill and nerves of steel to smash it in these sports. Meet the rising stars who have it all
Meet three trailblazers with a need for speed rocking the sport world
THE NEXT BIG THING: SAYA SAKAKIBARA, 19 BMX
If you’re after an action-packed sport, it’s hard to beat BMX, where riders fly over jumps and tight bends in a sprint to the finish line. “The race is only 30-40 seconds long and if you look away for even a second you miss a big chunk of action!” says Sakakibara, a Red Bull athlete, world No.2 and one to watch ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Spectacular spills are common, but for this bandit the thrills are worth the risk. “What isn’t there to love about travelling 40-50km/h, getting some air underneath your wheels and throwing in some sweet style?” she says with a laugh. Building leg power, core and upper-body strength and endurance ensures the rider frequently podium finishes, but she explains it’s mental muscle that really counts. “I think to succeed in BMX, mental game largely comes into play. When I’m on top of the start hill, I don’t look at who I’m racing, I close my eyes and imagine myself riding a perfect lap around the track. This helps me avoid stressing over the uncontrollable factors of a BMX race.”
You should know... These cyclists pick-up serious speed. “At an Olympic standard track, we reach up to 60km/h in 2.5 seconds from a dead-stop start,” Sakakibara says.
Make your move: Scoot straight over to bmxaustralia.com.au to find your local club’s next free Ride in 2 BMX event. These intro days are ideal for all ages and will teach you basic BMX skills from an accredited coach.