Dutch BMX Racer Merle van Benthem recently announced her retirement from racing, she states in a recent Instagram post:
After 24 years of racing BMX I’ve decided to retire from the sport…
It has been an amazing journey! As a 15-year-old girl I moved to Papendal to train with the Dutch national team and have been living the dream ever since. I worked hard to be the best BMX racer I could be, traveled the world to race, saw some amazing places and made friends all over the world!
I’ve won races, made World Cup podiums/finals and made the 2016 Olympic team! I’m really proud of this but I’m even more proud of every story behind those achievements. I’ve had to deal with many major injuries for the past 10 years but managed to bounce back every time! 💪🏼 It took a lot of my body, physically and mentally… But it has shaped me into the person I am today!
Now it’s time to close the BMX chapter in my life… I am forever grateful for everything BMX has brought me! 💜 But I’m ready and so excited for the next chapter 💪🏼
THANK YOU to my brother who got me into BMX in the first place, to my parents who supported me in every way, to my teammates who I trained with over the years, to all my coaches, to my mechanics, to all the physios, doctors and surgeons who helped me to get me back on my bike again, to Papendal for the amazing facility to train at, to everyone I raced with, to my fans, to my friends, to the federation and to my sponsors!
Forever thankful! 🧡🧡
Merel van Benthem’s Most Meaningful Moments
- 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics where she made it to the semi-finals. “That moment I qualified myself to the 2016 Olympics. I qualified myself at Worlds in 2016. I realized this after I made it into the final. I was stoked! But I even got more excited when I saw one of my best friends, Melinda McCleod make it to the final as well! It was special to share this with her! And then later sharing the Olympics with my other best friend, Amanda Carr was special too! Despite my race was disappointing I LOVED every moment at the Olympics!”
- Making the podium twice at a World Cup: Both 3rd in Machester in 2013 and 2019
- 6th Place in 2016 at the Medellin (COL) World Championships
- Making Many World Cup Finals
- Dutch Champion
- 2010 Jr. World Champion in Pietermarit (RSA)
- 2019 and 2009 Jr Cruiser European Champion
- 2018 Comeback: One of my greatest memories in BMX is the World Cup in Papendal 2018. After 14 months of rehab, I made the comeback and made the final! It was extra special because my family and friends were watching! After I crossed the finish line in the semi-final and then realized I made de final I cried of happiness haha. It was such a tough 14 months and making a World Cup final was very special to me!
- The times spent with BMXers off the track! Going for coffees all over the world, going to beaches, going downtown or the afterparties I will never forget!