|Left to Right: Josh Samells, Niko Doyle and Avriana Hebert (Team Canada)|
Canadian BMX racer Avriana Hebert has a number of achievements under her belt, including a W1 plate from 2014. She’s definitely not a stranger to Worlds, and this young women from Alberta, Canada is for sure someone to watch in the future.
Beatrice: How did you get into BMX?
Avriana: BMX was shown to me when I was four years old through my dad! My dad had done BMX when he was little and thought it would be the perfect sport for my brother and I! After taking my brother and I to the track for the first time it was something that we enjoyed and it stuck with me till now!
Beatrice: Are you currently on the Canadian national team?
Avriana: I am currently not part of the national team but rather the next generation Canadian team. The 2016 season was the upbringing of the next gen program with a couple of camps, and at the end of the season a try out for the 2017 team. The 2017 season was supported with many camps including a pre Worlds camp at Rock Hill! The team gave us gym, sprints, and track programs to follow for our training. Along with our training programs, the team prepared us for races and coached us when needed during our races!
Beatrice: What are your thoughts on the 2018 Worlds location being in Baku, Azerbaijan? A lot of parents are already opting out based on the location and safety.
Avriana: In my eyes, I’m not horribly worried about the location of next years Worlds. I don’t believe that they would pick a place for thousands of people to go if it were dangerous.
Beatrice: Since we’re on the topic of Worlds, 2017 was a big year for us North Americans, with it being back “home” for the first time in a decade. What was your Worlds experience like leading up to the crash…?
Avriana: My World’s experience was a bit of a tough one to take in. Leading up to my crash I felt very confident through practice and going into racing. I didn’t want to set any expectations for myself going into racing because I didn’t want to feel any pressure, but I was hopeful that I would do well. Unfortunately after making up some spots along second straight and going for a pass in the second corner I ended up crashing.
Beatrice: Tell me about your crash, I remember being so proud of the move you made in the 2nd corner, it was risky but the payoff would have been huge! For those who weren’t there, how did the crash happen and do you agree with medics not clearing you to compete in the next round?
Avriana: I ended up crashing with a Colombian junior trying to make a move in the second corner. In trying to make this move we bumped bars just before going into the second corner causing us to start leaning and ended up falling. I ended up hitting my head in the process of this fall and did not get up right away. After being down for a while I got up on my own reaching for my bike to ride it off. At this point the medics didn’t allow me to do so and I was taken back to the medics tent for further concussion testing. Following the testing the medics informed me I was not cleared to race and I had not passed the testing. Initially my head hurt as it would after hitting it but after about 5 minutes I no longer had any pain, in which I told them. In my eyes I was ok to ride and I didn’t agree with the medics choice of not letting me continue my day. Although I was frustrated with there decision I understand where there decision came from.
Beatrice: Not sure if you noticed this but, there’s a masters class for male riders, but none for female riders. So you have veteran female racers, competing against the challenge class at Worlds. What are your thoughts on this and the impact on the future of the sport?
Avriana: I think a masters class for females would make for good racing! I’ve always been on the side of having all things men and women being equal. So in achieving this I believe it would be fair and right for UCI to make a female masters class.
Beatrice: You recently raced against some really big names in Louisville, what was it like being in a gate with some of the elites, and what are the differences between Junior and Elite racers that you’ve noticed?
Avriana: I really enjoy going to the bigger nationals in the US and racing with the elite women! To me it’s kind of an adrenaline rush being with all those big names on the gate. Regarding the difference between junior women and elite in my eyes is the level of experience through the years of racing!
Beatrice: If you could name 3 people, (in no particular order) that you’d dedicate your success to, who would they be and why?
Avriana: The main three people to name off for my success are, to begin with, my parents! I wouldn’t be anywhere I am today without the help of my mom and dad! They have helped me in too many ways to name off. My parents were my coaches for many years in my life and they are on of the main reasons of why I am where I am today! The last individual to thank for my success would be my current coach Adam Muys! Adam has helped me from my first 2014 Worlds till now! He has taken so much time to prepare me and so many more for our races and I can’t thank him more!