RIDING HIGH: Australian BMX rider Bodi Turner is heading to the Rio Olympics next month.
RIDING HIGH: Australian BMX rider Bodi Turner is heading to the Rio Olympics next month. Chris Hyde

Broken bone no obstacle to BMX star’s Rio dream

CYCLING: Bodi Turner wasn’t going to let a little thing like a broken collarbone prevent him from contesting his first Olympic Games.

The 21-year-old BMX rider who now calls Tweed Heads home crashed hard during competition at the Oceania Continental championships in New Zealand in late January, putting his bid to be a part of the Australian team for Rio at risk.

But, speaking to Australian Regional Media from his training base in San Diego, Turner said he “didn’t really doubt my preparation”.

“I still had a bit of time to recover,” he said. “Luckily a collarbone is only a few weeks once you get it screwed and plated.”

Having overcome the injury, he was this week named in the five-strong Australian BMX line-up, alongside Caroline Buchanan, Lauren Reynolds and Sam Willoughby, who will all be competing at their second Games, and fellow debutant Anthony Dean.

“It was actually my first broken bone ... of course, being the year of the Olympics I break a bone,” he said with a laugh.

“But I had a lot of support and I’m pretty good at dealing with those kinds of mental issues and got back on the horse.

“I’m one to just trust that it’s all going to work out.

“It’s one thing to panic, but if you can just let that go and be prepared for anything that happens ... it just makes you stronger.”

Indeed stronger, Turner returned from the setback to finish an impressive 13th at the world championships in Colombia in May.

But he’s “going for gold” in Rio, where he competed in a test event earlier this year.

“I know I’m capable,” he said. “I got second place at the World Cup in Sweden last year.

“I’m capable of a podium; I’m capable of a medal.

“If everything’s going right on the day and I don’t get too overwhelmed I’m sure I can bring back a medal.”

With a BMX track not far from his family home in Melbourne, Turner began competing in what he describes a “gnarly sport” from the age of four.

“From a young age, you can accomplish a lot,” said Turner, who was named after Patrick Swayze’s character, Bodhi, from cult classic movie Point Break.

“You can race at nationals and race world championships ... I went to the Netherlands in 2004 for the world championships. I was 10 years old and actually got fourth.

“From a young age, I was actually racing for something. It wasn’t just fun with your mates.

“That kind of kept me in the sport.”

Taking his talents on to the biggest stage in the world has been a dream since the fast and furious sport of BMX racing was introduced to the Games in 2008.

“It’s pretty incredible to be able to say I’m now going to be an Olympian,” Turner said. “I’m pretty pumped.”

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