Connor Fields competing during the men's BMX final at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Aug. 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
Mom and Dad,
Where do I even start? How does one put into words what you have meant to me throughout my entire life, as well as my Olympic journey? I’m not entirely sure, but I am going to do my best to do it justice.
In a million years, I never would have guessed that I would be writing you this letter today as a 28-year-old Olympic Champion on the eve of his third Olympic berth. When by fate, luck or both you found that flyer for Nellis BMX in 1999, our lives changed forever.
Even before BMX, I was lucky to have you as parents. You both worked hard to provide me with every opportunity possible while simultaneously instilling good values and principles into me from a young age. No matter what sport or activity I would have fallen in love with, I am confident you would have been the best support system possible. From the beginning, we all knew it was BMX that I loved, and so began the journey that has led us to today.
You have both played different, yet equally important roles in my journey, and I will never be able to express the extent by which you have enabled me to succeed as an athlete and as a man. Like I have always said, me winning gold in Rio was the ultimate way to thank you for everything. While I was the one who received the medal, you both deserved medals of your own for your roles as my parents. All of my best qualities I learned from you two - whether it is Mom’s tenacity and grit or Dad’s ability to set a plan in motion then follow through to the very end.
Mom, thank you for always being the first person in my corner. All sports are hard, and I may be biased in saying this, but BMX is so dang hard. It is a roller coaster physically, mentally, and emotionally. You have always been my rock on those three things. From cleaning up my scrapes or taping my ankle up after a crash to now when you tell me to be strong after an injury, you have always been there to help me handle the physical trials. Honestly, I don’t know how you were able to watch me compete on some of these tracks with giant jumps. Mentally, you have always been the only one who can get through to me if I am having a rough patch or doubting myself. There are many races that I owe my performance to you and what you said to me the morning of or night before. It’s funny, others noticed this too, so you have become the “bat phone” that people know to call when I am in a rough patch. People know you can get through to me. Finally, emotionally you have always understood me better than anyone and have been my biggest supporter through all the ups and downs, even with the excessive heat, dust, and porta-potties!