Olympic attention turns to BMX riders that competed, trained in Oldsmar

The Road to Rio ran right through the City of Oldsmar this year for many BMX Olympians, and all eyes will be on the riders as the begin their quest for gold on Wednesday.

2016 USA BMX Gator Nationals

For many of the Olympic BMX riders that will race this week, the Road to Rio began in Oldsmar earlier this year when they competed in the 2016 Gator Nationals event and then trained at the city’s new supercross track.

For many of the BMX riders competing in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil this week, the Road to Rio ran right through the city of Oldsmar earlier this year.

Dozens of national and international riders competed in the Gator Nationals event here in February, and many stayed behind with their teams to train for the games at the city’s new Olympic qualifying-level supercross track.

On the eve of the start of the BMX portion of the 2016 Olympics schedule, Mayor Doug Bevis spoke about the city’s unique connection to this year’s games.

USA BMX riders Connor Fields and Alise Post pose after winning USA Cycling national championships dat the 2016 Gator Nationals event in February in Oldsmar.

USA BMX riders Connor Fields and Alise Post pose after winning USA Cycling’s 2016 national championships in Oldsmar in February.

“Good luck to the BMX Olympians,” Bevis said during the Mayor’s Minute portion of the City Council meeting Tuesday night. “We actually had a couple of them here, riders that you have been seeing and hearing about that raced and practiced here in the City of Oldsmar, from all over the world.”

“It’s exciting, so be sure to cheer for them all. Especially the U.S., but we like them all, because they made our city home.”

After the meeting, the mayor elaborated on his thoughts regarding watching riders he got to know and admire laying it all on the line for their countries.

“I spent a lot of time at the track during the construction and the races, and I really got to know some of the riders from the national teams,” Bevis told Oldsmar Connect.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis sports his custom USA BMX jersey at the 2015 Gator Nationals.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis sports his custom USA BMX jersey at the 2015 Gator Nationals.

“And I got to witness the competitiveness and the camaraderie between them, and it was really neat. Now I’m excited to see them competing on the biggest stage in the world.”

The mayor noted he would be pulling out the special jersey he received from John David, the president of USA BMX, at the start of the 2015 Gator Nationals last October, to show his support for the sport this week.

“I will be wearing it with pride at the Florida League of Cities meeting on Thursday!” he said.

According to the 2016 Olympics BMX racing schedule, seeding runs were set to take place on Wednesday, August 17 via live stream only, with the men’s quarterfinals streaming live on Thursday at 12:30 p.m., followed by a tape delayed feed on NBC TV at 2:00 p.m.

The men’s and women’s finals, along with the medal ceremonies, are set to start on Friday, August 19, at 2:00 p.m., and will be broadcast on NBC.

For more information, visit Rio2016.com/cycling-bmx.

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