BMX Makes Its Case at the Olympics Says World Champion Willoughby
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Filled with adrenalin and peppered with spectacular crashes, BMX has been trying to make its case as an Olympic sport in just its second appearance at the Games. Flying through the air like the scene from the movie "ET", the riders have been appealing to the younger generations, with soccer great David Beckham bringing his kids to watch Latvia's Maris Strombergs and Colombian Mariana Pajon triumph in the men's and women's finals respectively on Friday.

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SHOWS: LONDON, UK (AUGUST 11, 2012)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SAM WILLOUGHBY, AUSTRALIAN BMX SILVER MEDALLIST, SAYING: "Yeah obviously pretty excited and obviously as an athlete you come in, you want to, you want to win and that was the first goal for me, but in saying that, very happy to have got a medal and to be the first, like, medallist for BMX for Australia is a huge honour and hopefully now with myself, I turn 21 next week, so still young and hopefully I can remain at the front, the front of the sport and be, I guess an ambassador and that sort of and play that sort of role and hopefully grow the sport within Australia and make it bigger and better and hopefully with this, getting the exposure it got, kids will want to go and get a BMX bike now and make that their chosen sport" 2. CLOSE-UP OF WILLOUGHBY'S SILVER MEDAL 3. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SAM WILLOUGHBY, AUSTRALIAN BMX SILVER MEDALLIST, SAYING: "You know the Olympic Committee is pretty keen on having a sport in there that attracts or appeals to the younger generation and that seems to be what BMX is, you know. It was pretty sold out out there on the weekend and a lot of famous faces in the crowd and people wanted to be a part of it and see it, you know. It was, sort of brings an extreme aspect in a way to the Olympics and our sport being so quick doesn't take a very big attention span, it is very appealing to the younger generation (LAUGHTER)" STORY: Olympic silver medallist Sam Willoughby said on Saturday (August 11) he was happy to win the first BMX medal for Australia and thought the event had made its case for games inclusion -- joking that it did not demand a long attention span and attracted young people. World champion and pre-Olympic favourite Willoughby -- who will be 21 on Wednesday (August 15) -- had to settle for silver after Latvia's Maris Strombergs beat him to the finish line in Friday's (August 10) final. Willoughby told a news conference on Saturday: "Yeah obviously pretty excited and obviously as an athlete you come in, you want to, you want to win and that was the first goal for me, but in saying that, very happy to have got a medal and to be the first, like, medallist for BMX for Australia is a huge honour and hopefully now with myself, I turn 21 next week, so still young and hopefully I can remain at the front, the front of the sport and be, I guess an ambassador and that sort of and play that sort of role and hopefully grow the sport within Australia and make it bigger and better and hopefully with this, getting the exposure it got, kids will want to go and get a BMX bike now and make that their chosen sport." Filled with adrenalin and peppered with spectacular crashes, BMX has been trying to reinforce its case as an Olympic sport in just its second appearance at the Games. Willoughby said that, with the sport being so quick and exciting, it appeals to the younger generations. "You know the Olympic Committee is pretty keen on having a sport in there that attracts or appeals to the younger generation and that seems to be what BMX is, you know. It was pretty sold out out there on the weekend and a lot of famous faces in the crowd and people wanted to be a part of it and see it, you know. It was, sort of brings an extreme aspect in a way to the Olympics and our sport being so quick doesn't take a very big attention span, it is very appealing to the younger generation," said Willoughby.