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Marc Willers Profile
“I got into BMX at age four when my parents got sick of me wrecking myself on the road outside the house. They took me to the track one day and I have never left. The first official time that I represented New Zealand was when I was 11 and was in the Mighty 11’s team. It’s a five man team that competes against Australia’s best five 11 year olds twice a year. Then at age 16, I was again in the NZ team, this time in the senior men’s team who also race against Australia. I am one of the original members on the BikeNZ High Performance squad. Right from the introduction of BMX in the Olympics in 2005, I was there.”
What does wearing the silver fern mean to you?
It means everything. We are a very competitive country, so I love to do my part in keeping New Zealand’s sporting tradition going strong.
When were you most proud to be a New Zealander?
I think right now! I’d love to say at the 2008 games, but I choked, badly. But right now I’m holding my own over here in the States and it feels awesome to be the first and only Kiwi ever to be successful in the US pro scene.
What do the Olympics mean to you? When was your Olympic dream ignited?
The Olympics were never even a blip on the radar until 2005 when BMX was added to the programme. I had never expected them to be in there and then all of a sudden the government was all over it and funding was coming from everywhere. You can’t turn your nose up at that!
What is the ultimate goal – an Olympic Gold or a Rainbow Jersey?
I’d have to say both equally. The Rainbow Jersey has been my life goal since age four; it’s what I have grown up chasing. But since the introduction of BMX to the Games, it’s hard to deny what an Olympic Gold means.
What do the next 14 months to London look like for you in terms of racing, travel, training etc?
The rest of this year is pretty full on. We have four major international races left but they are all split apart by the US season. Right now I’m leading the points in that and it doesn’t end until November. Once next year rolls around it will be a lot more focus on training with the racing being a bit more scattered.
What have you had to sacrifice in order to pursue these dreams?
I haven’t sacrificed anything. I chose this life and have no regrets.
What is your advice for young BMX riders?
To follow your heart and not give up. It took me 20 years to finally make a mark. Nothing comes easy.
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