Nikita Ducarroz will compete in the UCI BMX Freestyle World Championships next week in Abu Dhabi (UAE). While the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist is considered a medal hope, her story of mental health gives hope to others. The daughter of a Swiss father and an American mother, Ducarroz enjoyed the benefits of dual citizenship and grew up in Northern California while spending summers with her grandparents in Geneva, Switzerland.
At the age of thirteen, Ducarroz began suffering from severe anxiety attacks, which led her to isolation within her own home.
"BMX helped me to overcome my fears"
It wasn't until she found a BMX video on YouTube that she began to break free from the isolation she felt. At first, she saved up for a bike and practiced in her driveway. Day by day, trick by trick, her love for the sport grew. Eventually, the sport led her to do something that scared her to death: she took the plunge and went to ride at her neighborhood skate park. By doing this, she took a step toward overcoming her anxiety and began her BMX career.
Nikita continued to work hard and build her skills. It wasn't long before she won competitions - first at
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