Minnesota BMX Biker Headed Back To Olympics
St. Cloud native Alise Willoughby is headed to her third Olympic Games as a member of the United States' BMX team. The Olympics, which were originally scheduled for 2020, will be held in Tokyo this summer.
“A year ago when we named the long team, I watched these athletes cycle through the disappointment of having to wait then very quickly shifting to the commitment that we will go to Tokyo stronger a year later,” said USA Cycling’s CEO Rob DeMartini on the USABMX website. “I’ve watched them train from a distance, I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked, I’ve seen how much they have dealt with disruptions in schedules, travel, COVID, and everything. And I can say honestly that we are delivering a team this year that is stronger than the one that would have gone a year ago and because of that I am incredibly proud of them.”
The BMX participants were chosen based on a points system. Willoughby will be joined on the team by Connor Fields, Corben Sharrah, Felicia Stancil, Hannah Roberts and Perris Benegas.
Willoughby's family owns Pineview Park BMX in St. Cloud. In 2016 she took home a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Willoughby has also qualified for nine World Championships, winning gold in 2017 and 2019, silver in 2014 and bronze in 2010 and 2016.
In 2006 Willoughby was the first woman ever voted Rookie Pro of the Year by BMXer Magazine and the youngest ever to win the American Bicycle Association national title at the age of 15.