Kingston’s Andrew Colling is now a national BMX racing champion after the 16-year-old took home the gold medal in the 16 boys 20″ division at the Canadian National BMX Championships this past weekend in Calgary. Competing in a field of 24 athletes, Colling dominated the event, winning all four of his races en route to the national title.
The Holy Cross student got things started with a pair of victories in the Moto 1 and Moto 2 races, before winning his semi-final. After a series of rain delays, Saturday’s final would see Colling once again cruise to victory, as the Kingstonian secured the top step of the podium.
“It feels great, I have been working towards getting this title. It is nice to see the training and practice come together,” Colling said of the victory.
In Calgary, Colling was just one of over 700 athletes on hand for the championship across dozens of disciplines, once again proving that BMX is a popular sport for all age groups and genders.
“It was amazing. I felt important and happy to be chosen to represent my province, and then to win the championships while wearing the Ontario jersey makes me really proud,” Colling reflected of the opportunity to represent Team Ontario on the national stage.
In terms of any potential misconceptions people may have regarding BMX racing, Colling pointed to the fact that the sport often looks “super simple” to the general public.
“It is actually a lot more complex where you need skills, strategy, strength and to be able to make quick decisions,” he explained.
“There [are] a lot of technical skills involved in determining the best race lines and the best and fastest way to get over the obstacles to the finish line.”
Last weekend’s national title was the latest in a long line of successes Colling has enjoyed throughout his 2022 campaign. To date, the rider has won 42 of the 70 races he’s entered this season. Prior to heading to Calgary, Colling took home a number of medals at the New England Nationals in Trumbull, Connecticut.
The junior athlete has been competing in BMX for 10 years. He said he was inspired to take up the sport while watching the 2012 London Summer Games.
“I was watching the 2012 Olympics and the BMX finals and thought it looked really cool, then my dad told me Kingston has a track and that was how it started,” Colling shared.
For the last five seasons, Colling has represented C-Yaa BMX Frames and, earlier this year, the rider was named to their manufacture-level racing team. As for what’s next for the young racer, Colling said he hopes to eventually turn his national title into an international medal.
“It is a big step, but I would like to achieve a world title,” he said of his hope of becoming one of the top eight fastest riders in the world.
“Representing Canada on the world stage would be a dream come true.”
Those interested in loooking into BMX racing locally or wanting to give the sport a try can visit Kingston’s local track — the same one Colling started at — located at Woodbine Park. The Kingston BMX Association recently held their 40th Annual Founders Day Race earlier this summer. For more information visit the Kingston BMX website.