CI Sports Awards: Alex Coleborn – an Olympic hopeful with a worldwide following
THE name Alex Coleborn may be new to many mainstream sports fans in the Channel Islands, but in the world of urban activities it has long-since achieved global recognition.
Coleborn’s stock has rocketed since he made his professional debut in 2010, and as the former Les Quennevais student continues to set the pace at international freestyle BMX events his efforts in 2017 have been rewarded back home.
The TotalBMX rider, who has over 150,000 followers on Instagram and is sponsored by Monster Energy, will be one of four shortlisted contenders hoping to claim the CI Sports Personality of the Year Award at Beau Séjour on 25 January. His nomination follows a year which brought yet more widespread prestige, plus a silver medal at the UCI BMX World Championships in China.
‘It was a pretty non-stop year for me,’ said the 25-year-old, who now lives near Adrenaline Alley in Northamptonshire – the UK’s largest urban sports park.
‘There have been a lot of ups and downs. I feel that the level of riding brought to each contest has definitely progressed from previous years, and I had a few crashes, which hasn’t helped. But that’s all part of the sport.
‘I travelled to all the FISE stops [Festival International des Sports Extrêmes], in Montpelier, Budapest, Edmonton and Chengdu, and also attended the Nitro World Games.
‘Finishing second at the World Championships was definitely my biggest achievement of 2017. The standard of the competition, as you could imagine, was very high and all of the best park riders were there. I was over the moon.’
However, Coleborn admits the recent podium appearance in Chengdu struggles to compete with the back-to-back ‘spine ramp’ successes he achieved on the FISE World Tour – just two years after being told his pedalling days were over.
‘Most of my achievements over the years that I have competed professionally are pretty big to me, but if I had to pick one I would say winning the spine mini pro in 2014 and 2015,’ he explained.
‘I am also really proud of a video project I filmed for Monster Energy called “After Hours”, which has racked up over 704,000 views [via YouTube]. That’s pretty big considering I broke my hip in 2012 and was told I wouldn’t ride again, let alone ride professionally.’
With freestyle BMX set to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, Coleborn has a big 12 months ahead.
‘I want to attend all of the FISE stops and get on the podium’ he said. ‘But the main aim is to secure a position on the British Cycling team for the lead up to the Olympics.
‘Having freestyle BMX in the Olympics is amazing, the sport is finally having the recognition it deserves. Every rider has a strong passion for it and this will help it grow. Hopefully it can become a more mainstream sport.
‘The opportunity to become an Olympian and represent Great Britain for BMX would be a truly incredible part of my career.’
Coleborn is joined on the CI Sports Personality of the Year shortlist by Jersey archer Lucy O’Sullivan, Guernsey track athlete Cameron Chalmers and Alderney-born boxer Billy Le Poullain.
See today's JEP for voting details.
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