Monday, September 6, 2004
Updated: August 29, 8:39 PM ET
By Alyssa Roenigk
Six months ago, Corey Bohan left his home in Brisbane, Australia, to move to the U.S. to train full time. It was a difficult decision to leave his friends and family behind, but on August 8, his commitment paid off.
The 22-year-old rider won his first X Games gold medal in Bike Stunt Dirt, unseating the former King of Dirt, Ryan Nyquist, who failed to medal at these Games. Last year, Bohan took silver and never looked up. To him, silver was more than he ever expected. Now, he's learning to expect more from himself. The rest of the BMX community already does.
We caught up with Corey in Hawaii, where he's still celebrating his win and filming a road-trip video with a few "mates". Looks like gold-medal membership has its privileges.
EXPN.com: It's been almost a month since you won the X Games. After a little time to think about it, what does your gold medal mean?
CM: I've been watching the X Games for years, and then to come over here and win it in the United States, it's a dream come true.
What does winning a gold medal mean, technically? More sponsor offers? More mags calling?
A lot of people I don't know, or barely know, have been calling and e-mailing me to congratulate me. I've gotten a lot of really random e-mails lately. But I'm pretty set up as far as sponsorships already.
Who is the first person you called after you won?
My mom back home in Australia. My parents didn't get the live broadcast, so they didn't know I won. She was so excited for me. [Corey moved to Corona, CA, in February to train. He spends 10 months a year in the U.S. and the other two months at home in Brisbane, Australia.]
What was the week after the X Games like for you?
I did a lot of celebrating with my mates. A lot of my friends were calling and celebrating with me. Now I'm in Hawaii filming a road trip video with my riding buddies. Colin MacKay and some other guys, just traveling and filming.
What has changed the most for you since winning?
Well, my bank account has a lot more money in it.
Where do you plan to spend that money?
I'm going to do something smart with it. I'm looking into buying some real estate in California. I'm boring, I know.
What would you rather be, the underdog riding for gold, or the champion defending his title? Which is tougher?
Well, I've never been the defending champion, so I guess I'm about to find out.
Do you think guys will be gunning for you at the upcoming contests?
Yeah, but it's just as hard for anyone to win. Any rider can fall at any time. Look at the X Games.
Were you surprised to win this year?
Yeah. I was the most surprised. I was so thrilled to win silver last year. With the best-run-counts format, you were able to practice your best run over and over in practice. I just happened to stick my best run in the finals.
Since you're Australian, and one of the few non-Americans in BMX at the X Games, do you feel like you're riding for your country when you compete?
Yeah, definitely. There's only a few of us who compete in BMX, so I'm proud to represent my country.
Kind of like the Olympics.
Would you like to see BMX Dirt in the Olympics?
Yeah. That would be such awesome TV exposure for our sport. So many people would see what we do.
Would you be representing the Aussies?
Of course! Who else?