Sunday, April 20 - I was thrilled to attend a 2-hour mountain bike skills clinic taught by Jill Kintner, a top Olympic hopeful for competing in BMX bike racing in Beijing this August. The 26-year-old from Seattle, Washington, is a member of the GT Bicycles Team and is living and preparing for the Summer Games at the Olympic training center in southern California. She has two more major races this spring, in Denmark and China, to determine if she will have enough points to represent the United States in BMX. Thanks to Beverly Garrity, founder of SLaB, who organized this clinic.
For more Jill Kintner clinic photos and shots of trials rider Ryan Leech, visit my photo gallery.
Making its debut at the Olympics, BMX, stands for bicycle moto-cross (an "X' denotes the "cross.") No motorcycle invovled - just modified bicycles that allow racers to achieve top speeds racing over and down uneven terrain on special courses.
Here I feel the love from the Sea Otter mascot. I have been coming to Sea Otter Classic for nearly 15 years.
Here is a BIO of Jill I received in advance of the clinic:
Date of Birth: October 24, 1981
Hometown: Seattle, WA
When you are the best at what you do, what do you do next?
This is a dilemma that GT team rider and top female Olympic hopeful Jill
Kintner knows well. After literally growing up on the BMX track her
father owned in Washington State, it seemed Jill was destined for 20
inch greatness. Pushed by a neighborhood full of boys as well as her
brother, pro Freestyle BMX rider Paul, Jill rapidly developed into a
fierce competitor. Beginning at the age of 14, Jill dominated race
after race until she presided over an empire that included more than
70 race wins, the NBL National Series pro title and the 2002 ABA
World Championship crown.
At the height of her BMX dominance, however, Jill discovered the
sport of Mountaincross and abruptly abandoned BMX to race mountain
bikes, a move that was anything but safe. But after a brief
acclimation process, Jill was back to a familiar spot: on top. She
signed to GT in 2005 on her way to three consecutive UCI 4X World
Championship titles. With nothing but green pastures in front of her,
Jill made another risky decision upon learning that the Olympic
Committee had approved BMX Race for the 2008 Games in Beijing – she
switched back to BMX.
Jill is now living and training at the Olympic Training Center in
Chula Vista, California and is currently the frontrunner for a place
on the Olympic team. Having just captured the 2008 USA Cycling BMX
National Championship title it seems almost certain that Jill will be
representing the US in Beijing.
A win in Beijing will have special significance for Jill as she is
racing for the memory of her father who passed away before she made
the switch back to BMX.