Cycling: From garage dream to Rio gold, Fields' wish comes true

Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:56pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - An ambition he scrawled on a wall of the family garage as bike-mad teenager was realized by American Connor Fields on Friday as he won the gold medal in the Olympic BMX competition.

In fact, he even surpassed it with a stunning ride at Rio's spectacular X-Park, surging to victory after trailing teammate Nicholas Long out of the start gate.

"I'm going back next week and I'll help my dad move some stuff around in the garage, there's still a Sharpie (marker pen) in there that says 'One day I will be national and world champion'

"I can't wait to take a photo of myself next to it with the medal. If only my 14-year-old self could see this now."

Fields, 24 next month, suffered disappointment four years ago in London when, after dominating his semi-final runs, he failed to finish on the podium.

This time, with Australians Anthony Dean and Sam Willoughby setting a hot pace in the semis and looking favorites for gold, Fields stole their thunder with a perfect ride in the one-off climax to a thrilling couple of days.

"I knew it was all about getting to the finals, then everything is wiped off the board," Fields told reporters.

"It was one shot for glory. Once I got in the final I smiled and said right I'm going to put all my cards on the table and have a crack at it.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Cycling BMX - Quarterfinal - Men's BMX Quarterfinals - Olympic BMX Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 18/08/2016. Connor Fields (USA) of USA competes.   REUTERS/Eric Gaillard