Inside The Kyle Baldock Project
The Kyle Baldock Project
Competitive BMX riding hasn't seen pro riders that can dominate multiple disciplines since the days of Dave Mirra and Jay Miron. But since 2013, the disciplines of BMX Park and Dirt have largely been dominated by one name: Kyle Baldock. Baldock rose through the ranks of the Australian BMX scene and descended on the U.S. in the late '00s to test his skills on the Dew Tour scene, where he did surprisingly well. And when X Games called, Baldock stepped up to the plate, winning double gold in Park and Dirt at his first event in 2013. Since that time, Baldock's momentum hasn't slowed, and this week on ABC's "World of X Games," Baldock is profiled as part of 'The Kyle Baldock Project.'
The quick rise to success
'The Kyle Baldock Project' provides fans an in-depth look at the life of the five-time X Games gold medalist and BMX phenom. From his early years growing up in Australia to his quick rise to success within the sport of BMX, the project dives into the life and mind of one of BMX's most successful and passionate riders.
"If I didn't ride bikes, I would be in a way worse place because I'm an adrenaline junkie," says Baldock. "I didn't finish school -- I went to year 11, where I had a meeting with the principal, and they literally told my mom that I didn't need to be in school because I wasn't going to accomplish anything.
"My mom had the conversation with me before I turned 18. She told me that she would pay for me for one year if I wanted to be a professional athlete, and that I should go do it. She wanted me to show her that I could do this," says Baldock.
"It hit me that I wanted to be a BMX pro, but I didn't understand what that took. Three months in, I had to go get a job. I was lifting railway sweepers every day for two weeks, and on the last day, I was told to come back for another two weeks. I took the money I made and ran. I bought a new bike," says Baldock.
Search for sponsors
"I just rode every day, I didn't go search for BMX sponsorships or anything," says Baldock. Sure enough, sponsors came knocking at his door, including Total BMX, a U.K. based brand focused on the progression of BMX Park riding.
Headed to Greenville
"I wanted to go to America," says Baldock. "I wanted to go to Greenville, North Carolina. That's where Ryan Nyquist and Dave Mirra lived. When I landed there, the first person I met was Dave Mirra. I didn't know if he was even real. He wasn't there to play, he was there to get the job done. Seeing that made me believe, that's what I wanted to be."
"I wanted to be like Dave Mirra, Ryan Guettler and Daniel Dhers, but at the end of the day, my goal was to beat them, always."
Riding for the crowd
Riding at huge competitions with throngs of spectators took some adjusting for Baldock when he entered the big leagues. "It can be easy to give up when you're riding in front of 25,000 people," says Baldock in retrospective.
In 2011, Baldock's brother Blake passed away, and Baldock himself reached a crossroads. Should he proceed with his pro career or return to Australia to take care of his family? Baldock's mother told him to chase his BMX dreams, and he went for it. "Dealing with my brother's death is part of the reason I stand tall now, doing things for me, because that's what it takes to be at a higher level," says Baldock.
On the job
"My job is to go to the crowd and make everyone want to ride bikes," says Baldock now, reflecting on his status as an esteemed pro with the medals to prove it.
Coming to the World of X
'The Kyle Baldock Project' airs on ABC's "World of X Games" on April 22 at 3 p.m. ET.