Background[edit | edit source]
- Samantha Cools, Canada (also known as CAN) , is a BMX Cycling Olympian in 2008
- wikipedia:Samantha Cools
- Birthdate: March 3, 1986
- Hometown: Airdrie, Alberta
- Coach: Herve Krebs
- Club: CCA National Team
- Height: 5’2” Weight: 130lb
- Member of National Team Since: 2005
Insights[edit | edit source]
Athlete Biography and 2008 Olympic Games Outlook[edit | edit source]
BMX racing makes its Olympic Games debut in 2008 and Canada’s first female competitor is looking to set a precedent of success in the sport. Luckily for Team Canada, Samantha Cools is up to the task.
The 22-year-old from Airdrie, Alta., heads into the inaugural Olympic BMX competition a definite threat for the podium. Cools is a five-time junior world champion. She has won two BMX races his season and took home the bronze in a third. She finished fifth at the UCI World Championships in June while fighting through a serious neck injury.
But success is nothing new for Cools. All told, she has 10 World Championship medals on her resume to go with 13 national championships. Her challenge in Beijing is a new one, as she endeavours to become the first Olympic gold medallist in the history of her sport. With that on the horizon, Cools has taken steps to maximize her chances in Beijing. She switched coaches after last season, training at the UCI training hub in Switzerland under former Swiss champion Herve Krebs. She trains everyday on a track that replicates the Olympic BMX terrain at the Laoshan cycling venue in the Shijingshan District of Beijing.
This singular focus came at an opportune time for Samantha Cools. When BMX became an Olympic sport, the starting ramps for women nearly doubled in size, to eight metres. Initially leery of the added speed and pitch, Cools has obviously adapted nicely, with those three World Cup podium finishes this season.
BMX racing has always been a family affair for Cools. Both her father and older brother are coaches and her family joined with their neighbours to build and maintain their local course. They didn’t just organize and raise funds – they pitched in with shovels and wheelbarrows, literally building the course themselves.
After years as a junior phenom and an encouraging start to the season, Samantha Cools heads to Beijing with the title of Canada’s first and only female BMX racer at the Games. Cools hopes the dawn of the BMX era at the Olympic Games will also be the era of Canadian medallists in the sport.