Petch: now for  Paris in 2024   

It was an amazing experience for Te Awamutu’s Rebecca Petch at the Olympics.

A nightmare Olympic start for BMX rider Rebecca Petch, which finished with a strong finish, has spurred her on for Paris in 2024.

In her rookie Olympic race Rebecca clipped off her pedal around the second corner and crashed over her handlebars.

It left Petch battered and bruised and fans watching from home may have wondered if she would be able to finish the quarterfinal.

For Rebecca it was not in doubt.

“I was determined to get back out there in my next races and do my best,” she said.  “I didn’t want my last five years of prep to end with just one race.”

And she didn’t. In a spirited fight back, she managed a second and third place finish to book a spot in the semi-finals where she fell just short of a final spot.

She said everything about the Games was a massive learning experience – being part of the Olympic Village was an amazing feeling but there was an air of weirdness around it

“It was definitely weird to see people that you know from other countries and not being able to have the normal catch up like you would,” she said.

“Or having to eat meals with plastic screens between each person sometimes turned into a yelling conversation to be able to hear the person across the table from you.”

But she felt all the support from back home, which she said inspired her to pick herself up and getting racing.

Those celebrating the loudest would have been her family and club members who gathered at Fahrenheit Restaurant in Te Awamutu to cheer her on.

“This is massive for our club as one of the biggest challenges is awareness of our sport,” Te Awamutu BMC club secretary Jonty Taylor said.

“We are really hoping this will inspire more people to come and give BMX a go, regardless of age.”

For Rebecca she knew when she was young that she was inspired by the Olympics and even now it still motivates her to work harder towards the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I hope that I have had even a small part in inspiring kids whether that be in BMX or whatever sport they choose.”

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