BMX cyclist Crain takes unusual route to the London Games

BMX Cyclist Brooke Crain hasn’t exactly taken the most direct path to the Olympics. But she is an Olympian, regardless.

Just days after a crash that severely injured teammate Arielle Martin, lacerating her liver, Crain was selected to compete in her place. Crain, the youngest member of the US BMX squad at 19 and a native to Visalia, Ca is excited to be part of the team despite her route.

“This is obviously not the way I wanted to make the team, but at the same time, I am part of the team,” said Crain. “I am moving forward and going to do the best job to represent Arielle and my country. It is exciting and a dream come true to me. Just to be able to say I have been to the Olympics and been an Olympian is just unreal.”

Photo by Olivia Arbogast. Brooke Crain speaks to media on Sunday afternoon.

Crain found out she was headed to the Olympics just two days before the team left last Wednesday. The team purposely came late because of the long wait until their competition after the Opening Ceremony. Martin’s 27th birthday was on Monday, the day that Crain found out she would join the team, making it even tougher.

“I think the day it happened, it looked pretty bad. We had our moment for her that day and the following days after we found out what happened,” said Cyclist David Herrman. “But since we have boarded the plane, I have tried to put that in the back of my head. I do feel bad for her. She was ready to compete, and this happened and it is unfortunate, but I am here to race.”

With such a short time to prepare for her race, questions have come up as to whether Crain will be mentally ready for the games, especially at such a young age.

“I know for a fact that not knowing until a couple of days ago has played into her favor,” said Head Coach John Herrera. “ I trained her as if she was going to be here.”

Even with the loss of Arielle, Brooke remains excited about the chance to compete at the Olympics.

Brooke’s only communication with Arielle has been through a birthday card she sent her, with Justin Beiber on it.

“She always jokes about how much I love Justin Beiber, so I thought it would make her laugh,” she said.

Crain is set race on Wednesday evening in London and said she is prepared.

“I have had a clear mind,” she said. “Going in it’s whatever happens, happens. I am just going for the experience. So I haven’t been worried or stressing about it. I haven’t had any time to do that.”

 

Going for gold

Part of the Scripps London team explored the Main Press Centre on Saturday, where they attended press conferences with the USA BMX team as well as Olympic gold medalists Jamie Gray, Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin.