Spotlight: Daina Tuchscherer

Monday, March 25, 2019

Canadian BMX racer Daina Tuchscherer joins us today for an interview about her life as a racer! We talk about her new sponsor, and the highs and lows of being an athlete. She's currently 25th in the world, finished first at the Canadian National Championships back in July of 2018, and was Canada’s top-ranked junior BMX racer in 2014, finishing the season at number six in the world.

Age: 21
Hometown: Chestermere, Alberta
Sponsors: GT, Troy Lee Designs, Dominus, Shimano

How and when were you introduced to BMX?

Daina: I got into BMX at the age of 4, where I tried to keep up with my older brother Justin. My father and brother had come across BMX when looking for a new bicycle at a bike shop in Edmonton, Alberta. My brother has always had a passion for riding bicycles where it took me a little longer to take a liking into the sport. While my brother could do bunny hops at the age of 3, jumping off speed bumps and doing mini drifts on his bike. I may have had a few tantrums trying to get as little as my training wheels off, as it did not come as naturally to me. I actually had a different dream, I wanted to be a national gymnast. I started into gymnastics at the age of 2 and had done it up until the age of 14. Where one dream just suddenly became a little bigger than the other.

Congratulations on your new sponsor, how did this come about, and what does it mean to you to be a part of GT?

Daina: I started working at an awesome facility in Calgary called B-Line Indoor bike park over the winter. Being that it is a bike park I ended up meeting the right people and made some connections through that and here I am getting the chance to represent an amazing brand. I am beyond honored and so so stoked to be apart of the GT family. I feel it will open the possibilities of trying out some other bike disciplines in the future. Very excited to see where this path will lead, plus have you seen their new 2019 frame? Gorgeous !!!

What’s something about GT that some people may not know?

Daina: GT is a sponsor of Canada’s best riding resort Whistler

What’s your setup like for the 2019 season?

Daina: The model I'll be riding is the 2019 speed series pro frame, Dominus components, Shimano cranks, Shimano disc brakes.

What’s your advice for riders looking to be sponsored, what’s the recipe for success?

Daina: Build a great resume, sponsors like to see the professional side of you and know you're willing to work hard to help promote their company. Promoting your name though is huge, social media is where it's at these days. The better you are at media the more intriguing you are to sponsors.

Shimano S-PHYRE XC901 - "I’ve tried a variety of brands but these have been my favorite"

A little birdie said that you might be considering competing in freestyle, is there any truth weighing on that?

Daina: I’ve always loved freestyle, I think it's so cool the crazy tricks people can pull off. I was thinking about trying it for a little while, but learning all the tricks I would have to accomplish to compete on that level, the risk of injury is very high, and being at a high level in racing trying to build Olympic points this next year and a half, I'll need all my focus to go into it.

What is the athlete’s village like during the Pan Am games? Do you have access to a free McDonald's booth like you do at the Olympics?

Well, every country has their own house, which means basically a big ass office building or apartment turned into housing for us athletes. Your flag and colors are around everywhere you look. Every athlete is decked out in their countries clothes. So you're gonna match everyone from your home base. But mostly everyone is so supportive and cheering one another on. You meet and get to see so many inspiring people it's so surreal. Now I didn't actually get the McDonald's experience. But the cafeteria was open 24-7 with a variety of food vendors. I was mostly stuck at the ice cream bar.

Has the addition of freestyle impacted you at all? Tory in one of his latest interviews, said reporters asked him if he was going to Edmonton for Fise, little did the reporter know that Tory was in a totally different discipline.

Daina: Personally, I haven’t been impacted by freestyle. I guess maybe some people confuse the 2 sports but I think it was a great addition to the Olympic games.

Upon putting together this interview, I see you’re in California for a week-long training session. What’s Adam (Coach) got you doing during your time there?

Daina: Lots of Supercross time, shaking off some of the winter cobwebs. But we obviously go to Cali for the riding so that’s our focus.

I saw that it rained a lot, how do you train when it rains?

Daina: The rain was a huge bummer but we worked around it, we did some obstacle course drills, sprints and hit a wood jump park. The rain is never ideal but we always find ways around it.

What’s the plan after California?

Daina: We had our first races in Phoenix and Florida, but the main plan is to continue training and racing building UCI points going into this next Olympic games.

Troy lee designs - They have amazing pants, my favorite are the Sprint pants, super light and breathable.

In your career, what was the most nonglamorous experience you ever had?

Daina: Being that we travel as a team, we all live in close quarters and one year we had a flu virus going around, I got so sick I threw up, out the window of our team van all over the side, got sick on my air-mattress that I shared with my teammate Drew and was so sick all night long, and as all us girls shared the room containing myself while I was dying was so hard. I felt so bad...

On the flip side, what was the most glamorous experience you ever had?

Daina: The Pan American Games was a pretty picture perfect moment. Getting to be alongside some of the best athletes in the world all kitted in your countries colors was surreal.

We’re going to show Canada some love, and since we have a generally international audience, what is the best thing about each province?

Ontario - I haven’t really gotten to do much exploring but the aquarium downtown Toronto was so awesome. The only place I have actually ridden at is the Pan AM track, which is always a good time to race on.
Quebec - The poutine is amazing never leave without it. Again I've only ridden on one track and that is the Drummondville track. Such a beautiful area it's in, and the track is pretty fun to play around on as its all downhill.
Alberta - Is home, My family, but what’s not to love. BLine Indoor bike park is an amazing facility it's my favorite winter riding FUN, such a great environment filled with the best people. Also, the Chestermere Dirt jumps are pretty rad its a 3min ride from my house, where my brother maintains them all summer so there nice and crisp.
British Columbia - So beautiful being surrounded by mountains but they have great sushi, always something I look forward too. SO many great amazing riding spots! I don't know if I can pick a favorite. The Abbotsford Supercross track is home for training, where the magic happens in every session. Lots of love-hate moments there. I also love the trail riding and scenery anywhere you look.

I haven’t gotten the chance to travel to these places (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Labrador) but hopefully, in the future, I'll get to explore all my home one day.

This is the part where we give your sponsors some love. For each sponsor you have, what’s one product you’d highly recommend from each?

GT- I haven’t gotten to ride it yet, but the reviews and other pro riders have said it's an amazing frame, plus it's gorgeous.

Dominus- There carbon rims are awesome, I noticed instantly when I switched and wouldn’t go back

Troy Lee Designs- Have amazing pants my favorite are the Sprint pants, super light and breathable

Shimano- I would highly recommend the shoes. I’ve tried a variety of brands but these have been my favorite