The Olympics Effect: USA Cycling Starts Women’s Youth BMX Development Program
With all the recent discussion of cyclocross in the winter Olympics, today’s announcement by USA Cycling reminds us of one major benefit in becoming an Olympic sport: increased funding from the governing body.
“The United States has a large, undeveloped pool of 14 to 18-year-old female riders who are internationally capable. The objective of the BMX Women’s Development Program is to move athletes from grassroots racing onto international podiums, thus maximizing the United States’ UCI Nations Ranking and gaining the maximum start spots for American women at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.”
Could such a statement apply to our young cyclocross athletes?
USA Cycling Unveils New BMX Women’s Development Program
Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 1, 2010) – USA Cycling is pleased to announce a new BMX Women’s Development Program, as well as the hiring of Dwight Training, Pty Ltd., which is led by Sean Dwight, to oversee the new program’s coaching activities.
The United States has a large, undeveloped pool of 14 to 18-year-old female riders who are internationally capable. The objective of the BMX Women’s Development Program is to move athletes from grassroots racing onto international podiums, thus maximizing the United States’ UCI Nations Ranking and gaining the maximum start spots for American women at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Dwight will utilize the Supercross track at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. to prepare the next crop of female BMX racers for medal-winning performances in London in 2012, and beyond.
“There are a lot of young ladies here who haven’t had a lot of training,” Dwight said based on his observations from camp being held now in Chula Vista. “This program is about teaching them how to live like athletes and mature down that pathway. I’m going to push them toward every resource available here at the Olympic Training Center. So far, I’m really impressed with their skill sets. These girls have no fear.”
Dwight has coached top-level athletes like three-time world champ Kyle Bennett and Australian star Khalen Young. A former professional racer himself, Dwight has previously served as National Coach for BMX Australia and BMX High Performance Coach for Cycling Australia.
“Sean’s BMX coaching experience and his attention to detail is certain to be a valued asset to our USA Cycling BMX programming,” explained USA Cycling’s BMX Program Director, Mike King. “He’s worked with many former BMX World Champions and we feel his presence will fill a void that is needed for Women’s BMX development.”
Through the BMX Women’s Development program, USA Cycling plans to provide high performance training with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Performance Team while instructing the next generation of female racers to adapt and master the high-flying Supercross style track. The program will provide two women with U.S. OIympic Training Center resident athlete programming, and will select, nominate and manage various athletes for U.S. National team trips to major international competitions like the UCI Supercross World Cups, World Championships, and a handful of international class 3-5 events.
The first trip for development program athletes will be to the opening round of the UCI Supercross World Cup in Madrid, March 22-27, and then on to the European International Class 4 and 5 events in Besancon, France, March 28 – April 4. USA Cycling will name the U.S. National Team for this trip on March 4.
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