2020 has been a turbulent year for all manner of sports - just look at the delays to MotoGP and British Superbikes - but for the young athletes hoping to compete in this year's Olympics they're having to wait a whole year to get another crack at it.
That's especially disappointing for Declan Brooks. The freestyle BMX star was hoping to compete in his first Olympic games. 2020 was also the first year the sport was included at the games. We spoke to him to get an update on his season, and also how he's managed to get more time in on his SV650X with the lack of competitions this year.
This year’s obviously changed a bit since we last spoke, most notably with no Olympics. That must be pretty disappointing?
Yeah, no Olympics was a pretty huge blow to be honest. It was BMX freestyle’s first ever Olympic games so it was going to be massive for us. We were all pumped and ready to go.
I was out in America and Australia on a five-week training camp when the virus broke out. That was super-disappointing as I was getting ready to be in peak condition and form with my riding for the summer time, as the games were only a few months away. But it's not the end of the world as it's still happening just one year later.
What’s it done for any other competition this year? Are any running or is it all shelved until 2021?
Well, as of now, we have no competitions lined up in 2020, which is crazy. If something does get put in the calendar then for sure it will all be behind closed doors, like most other big sporting events right now. It's just not the same without the crowds, you know? Just in the same way MotoGP won't be the same without the airhorns going off, I can't really imagine competing without a crowd. But 2021 is going to be a packed out year, certainly one to remember.
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Is Team GB or your own qualification for the Olympics affected at all?
How much training or riding have you been doing this year in lockdown and now it’s eased?
Ive been putting in the miles on the road bike all throughout lockdown so that was nice. Just keeping myself in top physical condition is all that’s been going on really.
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Have you managed to get much riding in on your SV650X, too? Where have you been, what have you done? And have you got anything planned over the rest of the summer?
When lockdown eased I made sure to get the miles in straight away on the SV650X, so I've been doing a fair bit of riding. We had some pretty decent weather too, so that was good.
I also went out with my grandad who rides a Hayabusa. I sure couldn’t keep up with him but was fun to go out and have some fun on the road.
It's a shame some of the events have been cancelled this year, and things like the British GP as I'd liked to have ridden to a few things. But I'm still looking forward to getting out in the British sunshine and letting it rip this summer, and maybe I'll still be able to squeeze in a BSB round.