February 28, 2014
The 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards sees BMX star Jamie Bestwick nominated a fourth consecutive time.
This year he will be hoping to finally take the coveted Award after what he considers to have been his “best year” in 2013.
Find out what else he told us in a chat ranging from his sport heroes growing up, to how much he enjoys talking to fans on Twitter…
Q: Congratulations on a wonderful year in 2013. Was it one of your best?
A: Yes by far my best year, in previous years I felt that I had left a little on the table at the major events and while the results where great, a piece of me knew there was something missing. In 2013 I left nothing to chance and put it all on the line, it's every athlete’s dream to get it right and I felt like I accomplished that.
Q: What would you say was the highlight?
A: It was breaking the X Games record. You never set out with that goal in mind but when you are on a roll the thought of making history becomes the goal, It’s also a huge burden because it is intensified by all the focused attention on breaking a record. For me staying focused, having fun and accomplishing everything I had put into practice, meant it was truly an epic moment in my life.
Q: You are the only athlete in X Games history to win eight straight gold medals, two more than legends such as Tony Hawk. Does it make you feel good to be talked about in the same terms as someone like Hawk?
A: Tony Hawk is the biggest name in action sports, he’s pop culture! So to be held in similar regards for my competitive achievements is an incredible honor. I grew up watching Tony and have always been in awe of his ability to translate the message of action sports across so many platforms that have had no affiliation with sports in general. He is a great role model displaying that through hard work and achievement, you have the power to transform peoples lives through the good of sport. I hope I can follow in the footsteps of the great work he has accomplished.
Q: This is your fourth straight Nomination for the Laureus Action Sports Award, but you have not won it yet. Do you think this could be the year?
A: I am actually going for the record in this category too, 4 Years straight!
It's a huge recognition for my efforts and achievements throughout the years on my bike that I get a nomination, I am in a very select group of excellence with all nominees having such tremendous stand out achievements throughout the year. It would be a dream come true to win the Laureus World Sports Award, to be nominated 4 years in a row is an accolade in itself. I am proud of myself, and all I have acheived through the sport of BMX that I represent.
Q: Why is a Laureus Award so prestigious – is it because great champions have voted for you, like Tony Hawk and Robby Naish?
A: You’re not voted on by your peers, you are voted on by the gods of sports. When you see the Academy take to the stage, you are in the presence of people who are the pinnacle of their chosen sports. I see men and women who have dedicated their lives to being the best at what they do. People who have inspired generations on their sporting achievements. To know that these sporting legends have chosen who they feel have excelled beyond all others, makes this award a very prestigious accolade.
Q: You are famous for your trademark airs – but which of your tricks is the one you most like to perform?
A: I had a couple of new ones for 2013 and my favorite was definitely the Front Flip Flair. It's a scary but hugely rewarding trick. It gave me a perspective of the ramp that I had never experienced before.
Q: What are your targets for the next couple of years?
A: Obviously I would love to keep pushing the boundaries of my sport and inspiring a new generation of riders. I would like to become a better ambassador for my sport and to be a proponent for its inclusion to the Olympic Games. I feel that its a perfect time for a serious consideration into the Games, especially coming off the back of a successful action sports portion of both the London and Sochi Olympic Games.
Q: You are 42 and in a seriously active sport – how long do you plan to keep competing?
A: I just love riding bikes, I am physically fit so while the two are still in synchrony and I can still progress in my sport then I will still chose to compete. I just love the excitement of competition and how you can be put through so many emotions in a single event. Sports are addicitve and cycling keeps me young at heart.
Q: Who was your sporting role model when you were younger?
A: So many sportsmen inspired me growing up, and I am sure many will be at the awards in Kuala Lumpur. Athletes such as Sebastian Coe, Daley Thompson, Alex Higgins, Eric Bristow, Nigel Mansell, Barry Sheene, Ron Haslam, Lynford Christie, Frank Bruno, Nigel Benn the list goes on of the talented sportsmen from my youth. They inspired me as much for their athletic capabilities as they did their showmanship.