Doug Martin: Fortunately for US riders, much of the international competition regularly comes to the US to train and compete. Both the NBL and ABA should be credited for developing and maintaining such prestigious series'. Certainly from a logistical standpoint that makes it much easier for us. Specifically for US riders, they essentially need to keep doing what they are doing. Racing in the NBL and/or ABA series, and making sure select UCI deginated events are on their calendars. In the meantime, I am just now getting my arms around where things are. My immediate tasks are to address any lack of information or confusion about the Olympic process and what is involved in securing start positions, making the team, what resources will be available, etc., while at the same time working with all available parties on a performance blueprint for success. USA Cycling is very committed to BMX as a category.
-Are you planning on selecting an American team of fast riders and get ready for the 2008 Olympics regardless of how many riders are qualified to enter?
Doug Martin: Very soon, USA Cycling will identify and select a core group based on recent past performance and history. This does not mean this is absolutely where the US Olympic team will come from and new talent may emerge from outside of it. It simply means this is the group that has shown the most potential and has risen to the top of the talent pool. This group will be at the front end of US BMX efforts.
-How many places do you think you'll have for team USA at the Olympics?
Doug Martin: None are guaranteed and up to three (3) men and two (2) women are available as a maximum. I like the idea of maxing out.
-Is your focus the 2008 Olympics or does your job entail other tasks to promote BMX in general?
Doug Martin: I think initially it will be to develop the communication process and performance blueprint I mentioned, but I am sure it will evolve. Everything always does.
-The American racing scene differs from other countries in the fact that there are two sanctions actively putting on races (NBL & ABA) where other countries only have one. Where does USACycling come into play?
Doug Martin: It's no secret that we have a very unique situation. USAC is the officially recognized US cycling body of the UCI. In turn, USAC provides the sanction for the UCI races that will be used in the selection of the Olympic Team.
-Do you agree that having multiple sanctions is confusing when you have to form one team for the 2008 Olympics?
Doug Martin: Actually, I don't think it will be confusing at all. It should be quite straight forward. The question is: will everybody be happy and feel like they were a part of the process. USAC is working hard towards that end.
-Woodward is a training ground that you can use for your American team, are you planning on using that in the near future?
Doug Martin: I would say Woodward and a number of other locations are all extremely valuable resources and the plan is to consider everything available.
-What other facilities will become available for those riders that are selected to represent the stars and the stripes?
Doug Martin: Probably the biggest resource will be the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and the sports science staff at USAC. There are also other non-BMX sites that may get tapped.
-Is there a possibility that all riders will be riding the same equipment (bikes) through a team sponsor?
Doug Martin: Unless there is a pretty radical change, no. As with all Olympic team members, there will be an official uniform along with detailed logo guidelines for all equipment.
-Will you see BMX develop in the same way as road cycling and MTB have regarding national teams at international events (riders wearing national jerseys, having masseuses there, mechanics, coaches, mental coaches, trainers, etc.)?
Doug: In major international competitions such as Olympic Games, World Championships & Pan Am Games, yes, riders will race for their respective country and in national team jerseys. I am sure support staff will - to some degree - be a part of the future needs of BMX, especially as some of the athletes who have never experienced this realize how benefical it can be.
-How does the budget look that became available to support team USA leading up to the Olympics?
Martin: Budgets are really all the same. There is never enough, but you make it work. Try not to overspend, and definitely do not underspend!
-What are we looking at for an American rider to win the gold medal (rewards...)?
Doug Martin: Any US rider who wins an Olympic or UCI World Championship medal qualifies for the USA Cycling Podium Capable program which includes a fairly generous stipend. They also qualify for the USA Cycling Podium Bonus program and the USOC Operation Gold program. With these incentives, along with their own personal sponsor's programs and possible future endorsement deals, winning an Olympic medal could prove quite rewarding.
-Is being Director of BMX for USAC part of your regular Blue Room Sports business?
Doug Martin: No, the USAC BMX position is a stand alone job. Blue Room Sports will continue to operate as its own entity.
-Anything you'd like to add?
Doug Martin: Just that BMX is on the doorstep of something very, very exciting. Not just Beijing, but beyond. The fact that little boys and girls at tracks around the world can now dream of being BMX Olympians is really pretty amazing. Thanks to Fat BMX for helping to spread the message - this should be fun!