USA’s BMX Sensation Along With Childhood Idol Achieves World Cup Glory Moves Inches Closer to 2024 Paris Olympics Dream

Published 10/14/2023, 8:29 AM EDT

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Sam Willoughby is an Australian rider and a silver medalist in the London Olympics 2012. Dominating the fierce BMX course, Sam transitioned into coaching after ending his professional career in 2016. He then worked with a young boy from Bozeman, Montana. It was a fan moment for the young boy when he got the opportunity to work and learn from Sam.

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Born in Bozeman, Montana, the conditions were not very favorable for the young boy, with snow being around for half a year. To continue with his training, he moved to much warmer Arizona at the age of 16. It was a dream-came-true moment for the boy when he lifted the 2023 UCI BMX World Cup, training under his childhood idol, Sam Willoughby.

US flag flying high at the UCI BMX World Cup

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At the last minute of the win, the spectators were cheering the boy in blue. The commentators were out of their chairs, looking closely, and in their enthusiastic voice, declared that Cameron Wood of the USA was going to take the win. The 21-year-old native of Bozeman clinched the 2023 UCI BMX World Cup title. UCI BMX Racing posted the news on their official X handle, captioning, “Cam Wood takes his first World Cup win of the season.”

With this win, wood inched closer to the Road to Paris 2024 and became the USA’s top BMX rider. However, he wins hearts with his humility. In an exclusive interview, Olympics.com had suggested that Wood is now the next big BMX star from the US. His reply to it was, “In my eyes, I’ve always been the underdog. I’m a kid from Bozeman, Montana, performing on the world stage in a sport that’s dominated by warm climates.”

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It has been a growing process for him since going pro, and he believes that in the World Cup he has exceeded his expectations since he didn’t have much of an overseas experience. And it all started on a very fateful day of meeting with Sam Willoughby.

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Working with a childhood hero

When a friend made an offer to young Cameron Wood to spend some days with his childhood hero Sam Willoughby and his wife Alise, an Olympic silver medalist, Wood was quick to take up on it. At the very final end of his amateur career, he was able to meet his hero and work with him full-time in Chula Vista, California.

‘It’s the End of an Era’- Renowned Cyclist Parts Ways With His Coach After 12 Long Years

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After Sam Willoughby went back to Australia on the coaching offer of Auscycling (Australian national federation of cycling), Cameron had to part ways with his idol. But by that time, he learned the secrets of the trade. Crediting his mentor, Cameron told Olympics.com, “He was, and still is, a huge role model in my life and has helped me tremendously get to the point where I am”. It truly shows. We will wait to see these show their magic once again on the Parisian tracks!

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Written by:

Shantnu Dobhal

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Shantnu Dobhal is an American sportswriter at EssentiallySports, who specialises in Weightlifting and Basketball. He is an avid sports enthusiast and comes with a staunch background in content writing. A holder of a master’s degree, Shantnu has always been attached to the world of sports through generations and is into MMA and boxing.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY

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