So close to a medal. Do you re-watch the final on a regular basis?
Niek Kimmann: I wasn’t in a medal position for that long. But of course it’s a bit frustrating to lose it that fast, especially with Olympic medals on the line. The first time I watched the final was in the studio for national tv, the evening after the race. I watched a bit of the replay when I came back home. I’ve had a lot of races in the past that I could re- watch more than 100 times, but Rio isn’t really one of those. My crash in the quarters is the only thing I re-watched a couple times haha.
A t what moment did you think you still had a podium spot in you during the final?
Niek Kimmann: When I went in to the second turn I saw I was in 3rd, but I didn’t even have time to think about it, because before I knew it I was already back in 7th.
Do you think the Olympic final had everything a BMX final should have?
Niek Kimmann: It wasn’t a ‘follow the leader’ race. It was exciting from start to finish and that without crashes. So yes, I believe it had everything a BMX final should have.
How was the Holland Heineken house?
Niek Kimmann: Don’t think I’m ever gonna have a party where I’m gonna have as much fun as I had in the HHH. All the athletes were celebrating their results, or partying to forget their results haha. Probably the only time in 4 years you’ll see so many athletes and fans having so much fun at the same time.
What are some of the good memories?
Niek Kimmann: Having my family and a lot of friends there was nice. The HHH was nice and the moment I realized I qualified for the semi’s after that crash were some of the I’ll never forget.
Did you get yourself in a shady/sketchy situation while there?
Niek Kimmann: Only went downtown a few times, after the race. Never really felt I was unsafe, just knew I had to be careful with where to put your phone and wallet.
How do you think the Olympic BMX track will look in 2 years from now?
Niek Kimmann: If Tokyo is gonna follow the idea of coloring the track we might have a red and white track in Tokyo? Other than that I don’t think their will be a lot other experiments like wallrides, boxjumps, loopings or whatever. So I think it will just be a good race-able track!
What did you miss while in Brasil?
Niek Kimmann: My parents and a lot of friends were there, so I didn’t miss a lot. If I had to say one thing it would probably be spending all day on the couch and doing nothing but watching the Olympics. I still watched a lot, but if you’re racing yourself you just don’t pay as much attention as when you’re not competing yourself.
Was it good to be back home after the games with plenty of time to do nothing?
Niek Kimmann: It was good to have some time to do other stuff than just BMX. Having some more time to think what I want with the rest of my carreer and slowly start planning things for next year. Being able to go to a bit more parties and not having to set an alarm is pretty nice for a little while. But I found out waking up without a real goal in your life gets boring pretty fast!
How much time did you take off?
Niek Kimmann: Way too long haha. I had torn my ankle ligaments and metatarsal bone in Rio, but since I could somehow ride with it in Rio (with tape and painkillers), I thought I would be fine 2 weeks after. I ended up doing nothing for 5 weeks and when I could finally ride a bit again, I crashed and hurt my ankle again. I was planning to take a bit of time off after Rio, but it turned out a little longer than expected. Looking back at it, it wasn’t too bad to see that there’s more in life than riding a bike.
Are you back on the grind now?
Niek Kimmann: Yep, I had been doing some stuff for the recovery for my ankle, but I’m really happy to be back training again and have some structure in my life again haha.