X Games gold medal record-holder Jamie Bestwick, one of the most successful Action Sports stars of all time, has been named a Laureus Ambassador.
After a stunning career, BMX Vert rider Bestwick achieved the summit of his success in Barcelona in 2013 when he became the only athlete in X Games history to win eight straight gold medals, two more than Action Sports legends Tony Hawk and Shaun White.
For this feat, British-born Bestwick received the 2014 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award. He continued his amazing run with his ninth straight gold medal at the X-Games in Austin in June 2014.
Laureus World Sports Academy Member Tony Hawk said:
“Jamie is a phenomenal athlete. His arsenal of tricks is limitless, but he is also a fierce competitor. He won an unprecedented nine gold medals in a row at X-Games, and at age 43 he doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. I am proud he has become a Laureus Ambassador and I’m sure he will put that same energy into the work of the Laureus Foundation in the US and around the world. I was also impressed to see that he wasted no time getting involved with youngsters at a project in New York on the same day his Laureus association was announced.”
Bestwick celebrated his induction into the Laureus Family in New York’s Central Park by joining participants at the I Challenge Myself project at the North Meadow Recreation Center. I Challenge Myself, which is supported by Laureus USA, is a non-profit organisation which uses cycling and fitness challenges to allow youth in low-income communities to develop physically, academically and socially.
Bestwick said: “As the newest Laureus Ambassador, I’m excited to team up with I Challenge Myself to help re-energize physical education in NYC public high schools. I am very much looking forward to my duties as a Laureus Ambassador which start today. I stand behind Laureus USA’s commitment to support sport for good organisations to strengthen their reach and improve social, health and educational opportunities for youth.”
Bestwick joined I Challenge Myself founder and President Ana Reyes to work with the kids to set goals, both on the bike and off, to discuss personal challenges and to work up a sweat with bike relay races and activities. Bestwick also taught the students the importance of staying active and training indoors during the colder winter months. ampionship victory in 2012, partnering Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in the centre of defence. He was one of three Spanish defenders included in UEFA's Team of the Tournament.
Laureus Chairman and double Olympic champion Edwin Moses said: “It is my great honour to welcome BMX legend Jamie Bestwick to the Laureus family. We are looking forward to working with Jamie with a joint mission of helping to drive the positive power of sports across the country. Working together with Jamie and I Challenge Myself is just the beginning of the difference we would like to make.”
Bestwick joins an impressive list of both current and former sports people as Laureus Ambassadors, who, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The mission of the Laureus Foundation is to utilise the power of sport to address social problems through a global programme of sports related community development initiatives. Laureus currently supports more than 150 projects around the world which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people.
Jamie Bestwick, born in the English Midlands, began his remarkable BMX career at the age of ten, when he picked up a friend's bike and started jumping off kerbs. Although talented in all disciplines of BMX, Bestwick is legendary for his skills on a Vert ramp. His jumps and tricks are truly breath-taking. In 1999 he gave up his job making jet engines for Rolls Royce in Derby and moved to the United States to become a full time BMX professional.
His runs include his trademark airs at height, opposite turndown flairs, fastplant flairs, downside tailwhips at height and a new move in 2013 - a seatgrab nac nac 540.
"You would never think riding a bicycle for most of your life would ever lead to anything, but when you have a dream, and a passion for something you love, it's amazing how far it will take you," he said. Bestwick, now 43, says he still has ‘the fire’ of competition after more than 30 years in the sport.
Thanks to its national patrons, Mercedes-Benz USA and IWC Schaffhausen, Laureus USA has been able to work with organisations across the country and inspire Ambassadors such as Bestwick to encourage youth from under-resourced communities.