Crain Replaces Martin on US Olympic BMX Team After Crash
BMX - London, England
Heartbreaking news out of the US Olympic Training Center/Chula Vista this afternoon. After suffering a serious crash during training on Monday, US Olympic BMX racer, Arielle Martin, has been replaced, for medical reasons, by designated “Replacement Rider,” Brooke Crain.
Word is that Arielle remains in a San Diego hospital, though her condition is not publicly known.
This is, obviously, a devastating disappointment for Arielle, who missed the Beijing games by one point, and has spent the past four years stepping up her game, ultimately earning one of only 16 female BMX spots in the 2012 Olympic Games.
It is very difficult to write about this, bringing BMX fans worldwide, such shocking news. But crashes are part of the proverbial game, and everyone knows the risks. As difficult as this moment-in-time is for our friend, we know she’ll be back. She is as tough as they come.
For any athlete “waiting in the wings,” on the off-chance something happens, getting the call-up must be bittersweet. Brooke was with Arielle and Alise every step of the way in the lead-up to the selection process…but with only two slots available to the United States (the maximum allowable), Arielle earned her spot on points, Alise earned the discretionary selection, and Brooke was the designated “Replacement Rider,” if the unthinkable happened and Arielle or Alise could not compete in London.
Still, she and Arielle are close–after two years living in close quarters in Chula Vista, and traveling the world, representing the United States in the World Cup Series and the World Championships.
USA Cycling did not officially announce who the “replacement riders” would be for London. The plan was/is that they would accompany the team to London, and would lodge with the support staff and coaches (and not in the Olympic Village) until their service to the team had been fulfilled. Word was that, as soon as the window had closed for a replacement rider to step in (perhaps sometime on Tuesday, August 7), Brooke and Men’s Replacement Rider, Corben Sharrah, would be back on a plane to San Diego. It is not known at this time whether another female replacement rider will be named prior to the cutoff and, if there is, who that might be.
Arielle’s “replacement” on the team (which is a harsh-though-official term for what happened today) MAY also strip her of the “Olympian” designation. Although she made the team, she did not START in the games. That, as much as anything is heartbreaking to us, and must be unbearable for those closest to her.
For Brooke’s part, moving from her place as the female Replacement Rider, to a spot in the Olympic Village must be both a moment of limitless pride and excitement of what the next week holds in store, tempered by concern for her friend.
The world will be watching in six days, as Team USA climbs the hill, ready to do the work they have trained day and night to do. They are all professionals, and will focus on the business at hand. But there is no question that all five of them will be racing with “AMV15″ in there hearts, if not somewhere on their physical person.
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