Local athlete qualifies for BMX World Championships

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Local athlete qualifies for BMX World Championships
Sam Drouin in front of a few of his trophies. (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – From the moment Sam Drouin saw a BMX video on Youtube at the age of six, he knew he wanted to get involved in the sport. Now, the 14-year-old local athlete has his sights set on placing among the top BMX competitors in the world.

For the first time in his eight-year career, Sam, who rides in the expert division of class and cruiser competitions, is preparing for the 2020 UCI BMX World Championships, set to be held in Huston, T.X. at the end of May.

“I will be racing against all the 14-year-old experts from around the world,” said Sam. “Some of my friends from Kingston, Ottawa and Milton will also be there.”

He qualified for the global races after winning 33 out of 44 races in the 2019 season, finishing third in Ontario in his age category, ninth overall best rider in Ontario and seventh overall in the North American Eastern division.

The opportunity has the humble student of École secondaire publique L’Héritage feeling excited and a little bit nervous. The week-long championship is predicted to draw approx. 2,500 athletes. If successful, Sam may have the chance to return home with a world ranking, world’s biking plate and some big trophies. An entire room in Sam’s house is dedicated to his and his sister Sophie’s athletic accolades.

“I used to be a competitive mountain biker,” said dad Dan Drouin, who is also the president of Cornwall BMX. “Sam had a talent for biking at a young age and I wanted him to get into that.”

Along the Drouin’s journey, sister Sophie and dad Dan also gave BMX a shot.

“I would see other dads racing too. They looked like they were having a fun time and I thought ‘well I could do that’,” said Dan, who ranked as high as second in Canada in BMX. Since opening the BMX track in Cornwall, he has put the kickstand up as he has been too busy to ride.

“During the summer, my dad built a BMX track, and I go there a lot to train,” said Sam gratefully when asked how he prepares for his competitions. “And I have a spinning bike to train (in the winter)…but the track helps set the flow of bumps and…it is more upper body (intensive).”

“There’s a lot of kids that go to the BMX track and races and they seem to enjoy it,” added Sam, who is hoping to inspire and attract young locals to the sport.

Outside of his BMX career, Sam also takes part in competitive trampolining. He qualified for a provincial team this year but decided to dedicate most of his time to BMX.

Sam would like to thank his coaches Jamie Brierly and Kent Leclair as well as his sponsor Hyper BodyArmor.

The only step above competing in the BMX World Championships is the Olympics. Sam said maybe one day he would try to make it there.

To find out more about Cornwall BMX and inquire about lessons, visit here.

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