Spotlight: Nadja Pries, BMX Racer, Olympian, Playboy model

Saturday, November 12, 2016
A few days ago I reached out to German BMX racer Nadja Pries for an interview about her time as an Olympian in Rio, and equally as interesting, her experience as a Playboy model. We can't show you any of her Playboy shots but that's what Google is for.

...Now that the pervs are gone...she's been a busy girl after the Olympics so we're grateful she made some time for us! Read on below.

Where are you from and what is the story on how you began racing?
I was born in a small City near Nuernberg. We have a BMX track just 2 minutes from our house, so my older brother started riding and I followed.  I had my first national elite race at the age of 16.

Who are your sponsors now? 
European Thrill Factory Team (Team Sponsor)
Juwelier Winnebeck
Sports Block
Tr3nd clothing
HNO Praxis Dr. Kittel
Deutsche Sporthilfe

Are you the only Elite women on the German National Team? Who do you train with, and are you receiving the support you need to live your dreams and do your job?
Well there are some upcoming girls now, but I was the only one over the past few years. I have my training partners in the gym, and I am training with local guys on the track, but I am studying Psychology so at the moment I can't move to one of the main training centers. I am still living at home because I couldn't finance a flat and all that. I am working pretty hard to get enough money, and sponsors to pay all that but until now it worked out pretty well.

Is there anything you think should change within the sport to make World Cups, World Championships and the Olympics more enjoyable to the competitors, or more marketable for sponsors and appealing to spectators *DG
I think it is important to keep the tracks rideable for races. The next step is to make sure TV Channels etc. are getting interested in the sport and put some money in it, or buy the rights to show the big races so that more people are getting into the sport.

Congratulations on making the Olympic team! Was it more pressure to qualify for the Olympics or actually competing in the Olympics?
Thanks! It was more pressure to qualify for me because that was the big goal I set 3 years ago. Competing at the Olympics was of course a big thing and I was nervous like never before, but I really enjoyed racing there!

What kind of setup did you have for the Olympics?
I had a white thrill frame with some fine red and yellow lines on it. A carbon rim in the back, Carbon cranks, and for the rest I had exactly the same set up like all year long.

What advantages or disadvantages did you find competing on the track?
The track was super fun and perfect to ride. It was hard to see the green lips in the beginning but then we all got used to it.

We saw you were quite unhappy with your TT, what happened? (TT stands for Time Trial)
Well, I overshooting the first jump during practice, so I wanted push down a little in my TT. Then there was some head wind which we didn't have in practice, so I cased it pretty bad and lost so much speed for the whole first straight.

What did competing mean to you and how has it impacted you at home?  *DG
Competing in the Olympics meant everything to me. I mean it's always been a dream and to finally be there was a little unreal. I had so many friends and people at home supporting me, journalists, magazines and tv channels who wanted interviews etc. So the last weeks were kind of stressful because I wasn't used to this, but I think this is how it should be. Many people were following my journey and even got into the sport. They all enjoyed watching us race, these little things make me happy.

What did you learn from the Rio Olympics that you would apply to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, assuming Tokyo is in your race goals * DG
Well I learned a lot! I don't even know where I should start, it was just such a big experience, and I think everyone who was there for the first time could tell you the same. I will definitely set my goal to a final in Tokyo (But who knows what's gonna happen in 4 years)... The most important thing for all big races is to have some fun on your bike. Too much stress could sometimes lead to some big mistakes. So I will definitely keep that in mind for all the big upcoming races.

Tell us about your Playboy debut, how were you approach and how long did it take you to give them an answer?
Well I got an email first and they said they were interested in shooting with me for the Olympic issue if I am qualified. I was immediately positive about it and my parents as well, so they got my answer pretty quick.

I understand this took place prior to the Olympics, so were there any special preparations made for the shoot? 

Yes, it took place one day after I was back home from Colombia (because I gave them a phone call that I just qualified). No, I didn't prepare anything special for the shoot. My goal is to ride good races, not to look good in magazines. None of us were models, so I think it was more about being there because we are good athletes, not because we have a perfect body. There was actually a huge buffet before the shooting haha.

On the day of the shoot, how were you feeling and how was the atmosphere. Did you feel safe, how many people were in the room, etc
The studio looked really nice, and as soon as I came in I felt like home! Everyone was so nice, joking around, making fun, and it gave me a really good feeling. There was one person for the make up, one for the clothes (or no clothes haha), the boss, one photographer and two guys for lights and technical stuff. They were all professionals and know how to get some good pictures.

You looked absolutely stunning and so grown up! I couldn't believe she was you! How do you think the photos came out, and did you have any artistic freedom with positioning and poses? 
Awe thank you! When I looked in the mirror after they did my make up, and saw the first pictures I had the same thoughts, and then it is like jumping into a role. Looking sexy was so easy by the end of the day and I really had fun acting like it. I didn't have much freedom for poses or anything like that. They had a clear vision on how the magazine should look. It was just my job to make the poses look good and giving the right facial expressions etc. But I can tell, modelling is not easy, my back was so sore the next 3 days haha

BMX racer, Olympian and Playboy Model...what else would you like to add to your resume?
Uhmm maybe student and happy mother of my puppy 😁
I am just a really happy girl and glad to be experiencing all that. At this point, special thanks goes out to my family, boyfriend, friends and all those who are supporting and believing in me!

*DG Questions from Dani George

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