Nicholas Long (64) and Connor Fields (11) of the United States lead the pack as they compete in the men's BMX cycling final during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
After an impressive showing for the United States in BMX racing in Rio de Janiero, the team's same five riders could make another run in four years in Tokyo.
Men's gold medal winner Connor Fields and women's silver medalist Alise Post are in their primes in their mid-20s. Both cyclists took a big step forward after they were part of a team that failed to medal in London in 2012.
"Come on, let me enjoy tonight before I start thinking about tomorrow!" Fields said about the Tokyo Games in 2020, minutes after winning the first gold in the American-born action sport for the United States.
"Nobody sits on the bench in BMX." - @alisepost11
— USA Cycling (@usacycling) August 19, 2016
After her medal ceremony, Post sounded like she was ready to head back up the ramp.
Mariana Pajon of Colombia, center, leaps onto the podium between Alise Post of the United States, left, and Stefany Hernandez of Venezuela after winning the women's BMX cycling final during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
USA Cycling hopes to build on the team's run, and especially the medals for Fields and Post, to draw more interest in BMX from children and teens. Jaime Staff, the BMX director for USA Cycling, says development will be the key.
And even if the United States fields the same five-member team in 2020, Staff said it can only help to have younger riders coming up behind them to add a competitive edge.
"I hope that the kids back home watching are saying, 'Wow, that's something I want to do. Mom and Dad, take me out to the track,'" Fields said. "Any kids at home if you're thinking about trying it, give it a go. You won't regret it."
— Mike King (@mike_king12) August 19, 2016