It’s about that time.
You’re wondering, “Who should I root for in the 2012 Olympics?”
Look no further than Alise Post.
Want a hometown hero? Post, 21, is a native of St. Cloud, Minn.
Gravitate toward someone who’s got a shot at gold? She’s ranked No. 2 in the world in her sport.
Love a person with layers? Post, who turned pro before she had a driver’s license, quickly overcame two potentially debilitating leg injuries in the last two years.
Oh, and she’s the only BMX-er with two X chromosomes to be voted Rookie Pro of the Year.
“My brother (Nick) wanted a little sister who wasn’t a little wuss,” Post said about the impetus of her interest in biking. “So he brought me out biking when I was 6.”
USA Today has chronicled Post’s potential, she has 2,000-plus Twitter followers, she blogs, and even opens up on YouTube about her injuries, and – wait for it – Post also won the state vault championship in gymnastics three years in a row for St. Cloud Tech.
She’s been a Chula Vista, Calif., resident ever since being invited to the Olympic Training Center a few years ago to raise her game to the next level. She even has a year at the University of San Diego under her belt. Pssst — she boasted a 4.1 GPA in high school.
Take a moment and learn a bit more about a Minnesotan who could very well bring home gold.
How bad were your two recent injuries?
The first was in November 2010. I broke my right fibula and needed a plate and five screws in my right leg. It wasn’t pretty.
I hurt my right knee in March 2011. My knee basically exploded, rupturing my LCL, my hamstring tendon and partially tearing my ACL. I was supposed to be out eight months with the knee injury, but I was back in about five months.
How tough was it with the Olympics right around the corner?
It was heartbreaking because the Olympic point races were starting up a month after I got my knee injury. The dream started slipping through my fingers. I was basically one year out from the Olympics and in a hospital bed.
(Post ended up racing in two fewer point-accumulating races than her opponents due to rehab, but still finished second in the standings. She was a coach’s decision to add to the Olympic team).
As a three-time state champion gymnast and a two-time USA Cycling BMX national champion, do you find similarities between the sports?
Definitely. When you’re growing up, gymnastics is a great feeder program to form muscle strength and body awareness. I had incredible strength compared to others, and my starts are still fast to this day. And the body awareness is great when crashing.
How much do you credit boyfriend Australian BMX Star Sam Willoughby in influencing your BMX career?
He changed my mindset of what BMX could do for me. We take for granted how big the series is here compared to Australia. He gave up everything there and came to America. He helped me see a possible future in the sport.
BMX is in just its second Olympic Games, what are your hopes for the sport?
I was a hair too young to qualify for the 2008 games, but I saw how huge it was to have BMX in the Olympics. I hope it’ll pave the way and open the eyes of the world to the sport.
Ready to race in London?
I’ve raced in France, Brazil, Canada, China, Australia and Holland, and I’ve visited, but never raced in London. It’s a great city.
Ever miss Minnesota?
Definitely. I love my community and the backing I have at home. There’s nothing like home. I don’t always miss the weather, but for what I’m doing, it fits my lifestyle. I miss the community feel of Minnesota.
What’s your goal in London?
I have high expectations. My goal is to bring home a medal and I hope it’s gold. It’s been a good season and I’m second in the world cup standings right now. I hope to compete in three Olympics if I stay healthy enough and focused. I love riding bikes around all day.
Got a sports story idea? Email Shane Kitzman.