After a very unconventional day of BMX Supercross on Saturday, the program moved quickly from Connor Fields’ commanding win of the US Olympic Trials, to the National BMX Hall of Fame dinner. There, the parting shot would be the induction of the 2008 US Olympic BMX Team…and the announcement of the so-called “Coach’s Pick” (officially: The “Selection Committee Nominee”) for the Men and Womens classes, to round out the team.
With respect to the Coach’s Pick, Alise seemed the slam-dunk favorite going in, following her remarkable performance, and comeback from last year’s injury–culminating at the 2012 World Championships, where she led the main event before crashing in the first turn. And Nic Long also seemed to have a pretty solid vice grip on the spot, once we knew Connor had won the Trials race.
That did not deter a lot of spectators to the process from voicing their opinions that Corben (above) had put in such an impressive showing in the Olympic Trials race (winning the Time Trial, then winning two out of three motos–on the challenging London Replica track), that perhaps his checker jumped Nic’s on the proverbial board.
For his part, Connor Fields (above, in the main event) rode the Trials race with the strategy of a chess champion, taking it light in the Time Trials, and riding cautiously (by his own admission) in the motos, to ace the four-man main event which included Mike Day, Corben and Barry Nobles.
So, after Dinner, and the five inductees of the evening had been announced (Steve Johnson, Eric Carter, John Palfreyman, Mat Hoffman, and Windy Osborn), Mike Redman took the podium to introduce the 2008 Team. One by one, Mike Day, Donny Robinson, Kyle Bennett and Jill Kintner came on stage, ready to “pass the torch” (figuratively, of course) to the next generation of BMX Olympians.
After some of Redbone’s signature ribbing, the first three of the 2012 US Olympic BMX Team came to the stage. First David Herman, then Arielle Martin, and then the newest of the lot, Connor Fields. Redman then called Mike King onto the stage to announce the final two members.
He started with the Women’s pick. And it was one of those moments, where as soon as he said “From Saint Cloud, Minnesota…” you obviously knew the next words were going to be “Riding for Redline…Alise Post!” Alise came to the stage, and joined her teammates at the left of the growing line of US Olympians, next to Arielle Martin.
And finally, the moment was at hand. Two (indeed, three and a half) years of speculation about who would “make the team” was down to a few breaths, uttered by the person who had taken the program from a seedling in 2007, to a mighty oak today.
“From Lakeside, California”…and then we knew, it would be Nic Long.
So, the team was complete. And though, for a few hours following the announcement, there was time for celebration, everyone surely knew that the REAL training starts now. The first gate falls in 51 days. We have no doubt that Team USA will be among the most prepared and mentally in-the-game as humanly possible. We wish them godspeed to the Gold!
We will have a photo gallery from the Olympic Trials race posted on Monday, so watch for it!
*Editors Note: There will also be one “alternate” selections made for the Mens and Womens team. Those athletes will go to London as “understudies” of sorts, ready to step in, in the event of injury or illness of one of the official members of the team. BMX News will update this story with those selections, as soon as they are made public.