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Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Sarah was New Zealand's first BMX at the Bejing Olympics in 2008 and her goal is to now win Gold at the Olympics in Lon­don, 2012. In July 2009, she became the dual World Cham­pion for Elite Women and Elite Women Cruiser.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am originally from Kawerau where I lived until I was nineteen years old. My training for the Olympics took me to Auckland, but I moved after six months, because a big city was too much for a small town girl. My mum and dad are primary and secondary school teachers, and my brother who is two years younger than me, is a downhill mountain biker. I tried many different sports when I was growing up, including netball, hockey, volleyball and triathlons. BMX was not an Olympic sport until 2003, so before that, I was trying to find a sport that I was good at to achieve my dream of being an Olympian.

How did you first get into biking?

When I was ten years old, my younger brother got a BMX bike for Christmas. I watched him for about two months, then got sick of watching and decided to give it a go.

Who are some of the people who influenced you?

When I first started, I tried to copy everything my brother did, which is how I learnt to jump. Since then, I have been mostly influenced by more skilled and faster males in the sport, including my team mate (Marc Willers) and boyfriend (Dane Booker).

What are some of your major achievements?

* Winning the World Championships in Canada, 2007. I finally won, after finishing in second place five times in five years. It was in my first year as an ‘Elite’ rider as well, so it made the victory even sweeter.
* Winning the Adelaide Supercross, the second to last World Cup before the Olympics. It was a great confidence booster because it was a huge ‘come-from-behind’ win.
* Accomplishing my dream of being an Olympian.

What do you like to do when you’re not biking?

I like to go four-wheel driving in Australia, playing Playstation, and using my laptop.

What are your goals?

My short term goal is to become faster and stronger, which should lead to good results. My next long term goal is to be at the Olympics in London, 2012.

What key things helped you succeed in biking?

Having fun and trying new skills to get better.

What do you like about biking?

I love the adrenaline rush that I get from going fast and flying through the air. I also love travelling the world and experiencing different cultures.

Describe a typical training day.

Every day can be different as there are so many options to use for training. The four main sessions are:
* gym
* sprints (on bike)
* gate starts
* track

What food do you eat when you are training and before an event?

When training and racing, I eat a lot of red meat and carbohydrates for muscle development and energy.

What was a scary moment?

The scariest time was at the Olympics when I was rolling down the Supercross start hill for the first time. It was eight metres high and being scared of heights didn’t help.

Bikes quiz

The Olympics quiz

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