Posted by Editoress on 07/30/21
Canada's two BMX racers - James Palmer in the men and Drew Mechielsen in the women - are both first time Olympians. They spoke with us after their competition on Thursday and Friday.
James Palmer (did not advance past quarterfinals) - "The runs today were tough. I struggled with the track out there and it took me a couple of laps to get going, unfortunately. I was able to put down a solid one in the last round, but at that point I was a little too far out of the running to qualify through. I'm happy with how I put everything into it, and that's something I can take away from this and be proud about, but it wasn't in the cards for me today."
On attending his first Olympics: "It was amazing, honestly. I had a lot of good people around me, telling me what to expect and how to handle it all. Because of that, I think I did it very well and was able to enjoy the experience to the fullest."
Drew Mechielsen (in the medal final, finishing 8th overall) - "I am feeling really incredible. I would have liked to have a little bit of a better lap in that last run, but to make it to the Finals was surreal. I'm super excited about that. [In the semifinals] my second lap wasn't very good, and in the third lap I was in a lucky position when 1 and 2 crashed, but I was happy with all my laps. I came back after the second one where I got seventh and I said to Adam [Muys, national coach], 'that was the best lap I could have done'. So, I'm happy with how I rode. Obviously, you want to win everything, but my riding was the best it could be, and that was my goal coming here."
Was the heat a factor? "No. Obviously, sweating all the time isn't awesome! But we did our pre-training camp in Houston [Texas] and I actually felt really prepared when we came here. A lot of people were talking about how hot it was and I was dressed from head to toe in long sleeves and pants and I thought it was okay."
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