San Diego to Tokyo

100 Days Out: Inside the World Of An Olympic BMX Champion

A Gold Medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio opened new doors for Connor Fields, but on the bike he's still a kid chasing a dream.

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Connor Fields currently holds the number one USA ranking, which is why his chances of competing in a third straight Olympics and defending his gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics look pretty good.

After one of the longest training stretches of his career, he is ready to hit his stride in competitions.

When he isn't competing he splits time traveling between his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada and his home away from home: Chula Vista, California.

Fields fine-tunes his skills and technique on the BMX tracks at the Elite Athlete Training Center, which has already turned part of one track into a replica of what riders will compete on in Tokyo this summer.

But, for every gate opening on the track, it seems another door opens off of it. After all, there is only one reigning male BMX Olympic champion on the planet and it’s Fields.

"It's instant credibility or ability to do really cool things like speak to schools, or be on the news, or things like that,” said Fields. “I mean I can put it at the top of my resume every single time and it looks really good, doesn’t get much better than that.”

He calls the medal the most epic way to have been able to thank his parents, coaches, and supporters, but said the most satisfying part was fulfilling a childhood dream.

They cut out the drywall where I wrote on it, so I have it sitting at my house. It's right next to my Olympic gold medal

Connor Fields

He was just a teenager when he took a sharpie to his parents' wall to write the words “I will win and one day be Olympic champion.”

He scribbled the words at a time when the Olympics didn’t even include BMX.

“My parents actually moved out of the house I grew up in a few years ago and when they moved they cut that piece of the wall out. They cut out the drywall where I wrote on it, so I have it sitting at my house. It's right next to my Olympic gold medal," said Fields.

On the track, he makes the jumps and turns look easy. In fact, he describes competing in the most unusual way.

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"It's almost relaxing in a sense. You look at what we do out here and it doesn't seem relaxing at all, but you have to be so focused and so concentrated on what you're doing that you tune the rest of the world out and that's always been my favorite thing," said Fields.

Last year he was forced to take his longest break from BMX riding as training tracks closed down amid the pandemic.

But, the Olympics weren’t the only big event in his life to get canceled.

He and his fiancée were supposed to get married in Temecula last November and opted to delay their wedding to a future date so all of their friends and family members could attend.

Off the track, Fields says he definitely feels like more of an adult these days with a mortgage and business responsibilities.

He is starting to travel more for BMX, but things have changed a lot since his first Olympics in 2012.

“I was living at home being a 19-year-old kid during London [Olympics] and now whatever happens in Tokyo, when I get home on Monday, I’m still going to have to make sure the electric bill is paid and take my dog for a walk,” said Fields.

Luckily his electric bill is benefiting from some of the more lucrative deals with sponsors thanks to his 2016 gold medal.

But, for the most part, he says his day-to-day life hasn't changed much since the big win in Rio.

On the track, he's still a kid chasing a dream.

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