Since my name was dropped in the thread, I was there for the award presentation, I personally talked with James & Arielle, etc., over the weekend, here is what I have to say regarding the matter...
THIS IS HUGE!!!! Let me put it into perspective, and if I'm wrong on my possibly out-dated numbers, I apologize in advance, but I think you'll get my point.
USA Cycling has over 1,400 Coaches. The award went to 1.
There are nearly 60,000 riders between mountain bikers & road cycling disciplines. BMX makes up a few hundred riders. Whether you know whom James is or not, the fact that this award was presented to a BMX Coach in the BMX discipline is an outstanding achievement for both James and our sport.
I recently said in my Dale Holmes podcast something to the effect of this is no longer the backyard white trash sport...this is now an Olympic sport!
Mike Redman put it into perspective to me over the weekend and said that back in High School he had a coach badger him about playing baseball, saying "BMX isn't a sport...Baseball is a sport!"
- Mike looked at me and smiled and said that the memory of that HS coach was clear while he was announcing the races in 2008 Olympics - the same year baseball was removed.
As for the BMX coaching seminar (where the award was presented), James invited most, if not all BMX coaches to teach/present in the seminar - giving an opportunity to bring as many perspectives to this ground breaking program, that in my opinion is the road to help solidify more structure & support in our sport. There was nearly a ga-Zillion years of BMX coaching in the same room sharing ideas at the same time. Yes!!...you should have been there!
During the seminar, in the Elite Athlete Panel Q&A, what an athlete needs from his/her coach was a resonating topic.https://twitter.com/#!/bbiggbird/status...5549314/photo/1
The #1 most thing I heard from these Elite Athletes was this: Relationship between Coach & Rider - understanding their personal needs. So regardless of who you know or like, it comes down relationship & trust.
There is currently a lot of collaboration between USABMX, USAC, Coaching, etc. The sport is growing. It is an Olympic year!
Congratulations to James - Congratulations to our sport: GO BMX! GO TEAM USA!