Olympic BMX athlete Nic Long is from Lakside, California and trained at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. Here, he answers some questions about his start and his mom's feelings about his tattoos:
How did you first get involved with BMX?
I played baseball and tee-ball when I was a kid. My dad really just didn’t like team sports and he used to ride bikes, like motorcycles and all of that. So he just took me out to the track one day, just a small track in Lakeside, and I just watched one night racing and was super into it. And we used to have jumps and stuff at my cousin’s house and my mom made me buy my first race bike just to make sure I stuck with it. I haven’t turned back since. I’ve never taken a summer off, anything but a couple weeks for an injury… I’ve never taken a break.
What does it mean to you to be able to represent the United States in the Olympics again?
It’s a huge honor. You know last time, I felt like, not doing it for the wrong reasons but once I made it I was happy. I obviously wanted to do well but it wasn’t a huge goal. I was just happy to be there. So this one is going to do it for me and you know going back there to get it done and bring it back home.
You’ve been friends with Brook Crain for a long time. What is it like to go on this Olympic journey with someone you are so close with?
I mean it’s kind of like going on a family vacation. It’s not a vacation but a family trip. We share a lot of moments together. Brooke and I are really close. We’ve been friends for a long time. It’s like just going with your little sister.
What can we expect from you in Rio?
I’m going there with the intention of walking out with a medal. I don’t plan on coming short this time. So, I’ll just do everything in my power to get it done.
Did you have a favorite Olympian growing up or an Olympian that you like right now?
I really like watching Michael Phelps and his story. How he always got a little bit of drama whether it’s good or bad. So it’s kind of cool just seeing him deal with all of that and still be the greatest Olympian of all time.
I know you have lots of tattoo. How many do you have?
Oh that’s hard to say because each sleeve is would be one. I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you. I think it would be easier to tell you what I don’t have tattooed.
So what do you not have tattooed?
My right side, my left lower leg and my neck.
Do you have plans for those?
I’ll probably never do my lower left leg. I just think it kind of looks funny when you have all four limbs done and you lose the human aspect I think. I’ll probably do my right thigh and I’ll really have to try and not do my neck. I’d like to, but mom would be pretty upset about it.