RIO DE JANEIRO — After a crash left Alise Post out of the 2012 Olympic BMX final, she redeemed herself on the Olympic stage in Rio, earning a silver medal Friday at the Olympic BMX Center.
Post’s silver medal is the best-ever performance for a U.S. woman at the Olympics.
She crossed the line in 34.435, only 0.342 seconds behind gold medalist Mariana Pajon of Colombia. Stefany Hernandez of Venezuela earned bronze in 34.755.
“Every single race is a stepping stone and you have to treat each race for what it’s worth and gain something from every step of the process,” Post said. “It’s been a steep learning curve over the past four years for me as an athlete and a person.”
“It’s amazing to compete for Team USA,” Post said. “I just think with the shutout in 2012, when we had the same capabilities there, it’s wonderful to come out of here with the top women’s result.”
Using the 2012 Games as a learning experience, Post came to Rio far more prepared and experienced than four years ago. Since London, Post has competed in several world championships and won a bronze medal at the most recent 2016 UCI BMX World Championships.
“I came in knowing what it was going to be like,” Post said. “I wasn’t as star struck. I knew what I needed to do to get the job done. I tried to take from London’s nerves, my time trial’s nerves and even yesterday’s nerves and grow from that experience.”
Besides preparation and experience, Post knew her competitors extremely well, as she has been racing against both Pajon and Hernandez since she started in the sport as a child.
Although her goal was a gold medal, Post said that she could not be more proud or excited about silver because she knows how much talent there was in the field.
In addition to being excited about her own accomplishment, Post hopes that her silver medal and Connor Fields’ men’s gold medal will send a strong message to future BMX riders in the United States.
“I think and I hope all of these kids out there are excited about BMX and want to get out there and give it a try,” Post said. “I just hope to help grow the sport within the U.S.”
Nicole Chrzanowski is a student in the Sports Media Certificate program at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.