Athlete's Corner

Athlete’s Corner: Defying Gravity

From skate parks to the half pipe and on the street, freestyle BMX riders are taking flight in each run and as they perfect new tricks. Launching, spinning, flipping into the air, they experience seconds of weightlessness to reach new heights and defy gravity.

Before the freestyle BMX team departed for the first world cup of the season – the UCI BMX Freestyle Park and Flatland World Cup in Hiroshima, Japan – we heard from the riders about the art of flight. We asked, “What does it feel like when you are in the air?”

Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, Va.)

“Being in the air is a feeling that cannot be matched. I feel weightless, and I feel in total control of the situation. Sometimes I will go to the skate park and just jump around with no tricks just to feel that sensation.”

Angie Marino (Phoenix)

“It's indescribable. Sometimes it feels like you're floating and sometimes it feels like you're only in the air for a split second.”

Cory Coffey (Ojai, Calif.)

“Defying gravity makes my heartbeat faster and that’s why I do it. I get the biggest smile on my face when I drop in on the ramps and feel the wind against my skin. When I’m in the air it feels like I’m floating.”

Nick Bruce (Youngstown, Ohio)

“There’s a moment of stillness and you realize you are just floating in the air with a bike, which is an indescribable feeling of amazement.”

Pat Casey (Yorba Linda, Calif.)

“It feels like time stops for a minute while you are in the air – the best feeling.”


Eight members of the USA Cycling National Team are competing in Hiroshima, Japan, from April 6-8 at the first of five UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cups this season. The women’s lineup includes Nina Buitrago (Austin, Texas), Cory Coffey (Ojai, Calif.), Angie Marino (Phoenix) and Hannah Roberts (Buchanan, Mich.); with Nick Bruce (Youngstown, Ohio), Pat Casey (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Colton Walker (Minneapolis) on the men’s team.

BMX Freestyle Park will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, becoming first Olympic BMX Freestyle discipline on the program. The event will also be on the 2018 Youth Olympic Games program this summer in Buenos Aires.

Follow @USACyclingLIVE on Twitter for updates during this weekend's World Cup. and USA Cycling on Instagram and Facebook for the latest on the USA Cycling National Team. Follow @UCI_BMX_FS and @fiseworld on Twitter for results and updates throughout the BMX freestyle season.