COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In 2008, BMX officially became recognized as an Olympic sport.
Since then, two local sisters have made it their goal to reach the international stage in 2020.
Six years ago, twins Ashley and Emily Hayes were introduced to the sport of BMX through their dad Bubba, who at one point rode professionally.
“I bought them a bike and they seemed like they were really good at riding bicycles so put them on the bike, put them on the track,” said Bubba.
Turns out, they were really good. Last year they ranked second and sixth in their age group and recently qualified for the BMX World Championship, the biggest stage they’ll compete on in July.
“Knowing that we’re finally going to get there and after five years or six years of racing,” said Ashley. “Like I watched it on the television. I watch my friends race and never thought I was going to be able to go so knowing that we can go is awesome.”
“I was very excited,” said Emily. “I’m very nervous for it to though. I just keep thinking about it when I’m training about it.”
Given that it’s an Olympic sport, both Ashley and Emily train like Olympians. Every morning they’re on the track and at night, they’re putting in work at the gym all for the dream of making it to the 2020 Olympics.
“At the gym we’re there to help each other, spot each other, increase our weight, motivate each other and here, we always have someone to compete with,” said Ashley.
“With Ashley, she’s my competition as well so she motivates me to do something,” said Emily. “If she jumps then I’m going to want to jump too to one up her maybe.”
Being twin sisters competing in a sport dominated by men — that’s something the family says is special.
“It makes you feel kind of cool really because you’re a girl in a more male sport is pretty dangerous,” said Emily. “You don’t see a lot of girls doing dangerous sports like this.”
“There’s not very many girls that totally succeed in this sport so it is awesome that my daughters are there,” said Bubba. “Didn’t even know that when we first started that it was going to come to that.”
Whether it’s on their home track, competing at events, or the dream of 2020, both Ashley and Emily say it’s all about enjoying the moment.
“Just have fun with it — that’s it,” said Emily.
“If anybody wants to start, it’s mainly about having fun,” said Ashley. “Like if you’re not having fun, there’s no point in doing it.”
The two girls and their dad will all compete at the BMX World Championship this July in South Carolina.