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The year in BMX, 2012

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Maris Strombergs wins 2012 Olympics

Photograph By Alex Livesey/Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

BMX racing debuted in the Olympics in 2008, and Latvia's Maris Strombergs walked away with the gold medal. In 2010, Strombergs suffered a broken hand, dislocated wrist and damaged shoulder at an ABA race. He required six months of downtime and two surgeries, and eventually rebounded. As the London Games approached, Strombergs remained calm and collected. He breezed through qualifying and semis with ease, and took home his second gold medal in August. To date, Strombergs owns two of Latvia's three Olympic gold medals. "No doubt in my mind that this was mentally the toughest race I have ever been part of," said Strombergs.