GREAT FALLS — Two-time Olympian Nic Long has been making his way through the mountain states of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota to visit and help out the youth in under-represented BMX areas such as Great Falls.
On Tuesday, Long - along with longtime friend and fellow 2012 BMX Olympian David Herman - stopped by Electric City BMX in Great Falls to do a three-hour clinic with kids of varying ages, teaching them the intricacies of racing from start to finish.
The track operator for Electric City BMX, Shyla Maziarz, was shocked when the call came in that Long wanted to stop through and help out.
“He called me. I was shocked. I had no idea who the caller was. He called me and said he was interested in coming out and doing a clinic here for our kids, and I was super excited,” Maziarz said. “Our kids don’t get that kind of opportunity here, so to have anyone show support here for our kids and the sport of BMX and helping them excel is really cool.”
The clinic lasted three hours, covering everything from starting position at the gate to keeping good inside position on turns. The day concluded with a little light racing.
“I’ve really enjoyed helping these kids,” Long said. “I feel like I’ve put a really good routine together for these clinics and the kids get a lot out of it and they enjoy spending the time out here and working hard at it.”
Long competed in the 2012 Olympics in London as well as the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and used his experiences as training lessons for the kids.
“I’ll have stories that I’ll tell what I go through in each drill and just talk about, like I made this mistake at this Olympics and this is something if you keep in your mind hopefully you don’t make a mistake like I had.”
For more information on race times at Electric City BMX, you can visit their website. All ages are welcome to race.