By Tamas Mondovics

Nine-year-old FishHawk resident Kyle Kirchhoff is one of those young athletes who, like his peers, could have equally taken on and excelled in just about any sport. However it was the need for speed, the love of racing and the rush of adrenaline, which comes from soaring through the air on his bike, propelled by his own strength and physical stamina that sealed the deal of BMX for Kirchhoff. This was confirmed without any hesitation by his parents, Cody and Lisa Kirchhoff.

“Kyle picked up BMX (bicycle motocross racing) as the choice of sport when he was just 7-years-old and never looked back,” Cody said.

It’s a good thing too, since not only did Kyle find the right sport for himself, he has quickly worked his way up the ranks to race with the best of the best in his age group.

Thanks to hard work, commitment and dedication, as well as the support of his parents, the young BMX talent went from a newcomer cyclist (or novice as it is called within the BMX community) just two years ago to an expert today, which includes earning the qualification to represent USA at the BMX World Championship in Medellin, Columbia this summer.

Kyle’s qualification came as the result of racing against the countless opponents within his age group, including the three races at the nationals qualifying event held in Oldsmar on the weekend of February 19-21, which took the top eight riders. Placing second during the race, Kyle had no problem securing his spot to represent his community, state and country in a few months.

“It is neat to see our son succeed in a sport so different from what we did,” Cody said. “Kyle had to personally work at this, pushing himself from one race to another across the country.”

Besides his parent’s support, Kyle is also fortunate to have a training facility within minutes from his home at the USA Official BMX training and race facility that opened in 2010. As one of more than 370 BMX tracks located all around the country, the USA BMX Riverview, located at 12705 Balm-Boyette Rd., is a non-profit facility sanctioned by USA BMX and the American Bicycle Association.

The 1,080-ft.-long track sits on 58 acres of county leased property and has earned the recognition as one of the hardest and fastest in the state, offering steep backsides, deep turns, and downhill sections. USA BMX Riverview is run by volunteers, and at a cost of $5 per practice is open on Thursday nights from 6-8 p.m., and Saturday from 9-11 a.m. For more information about full membership, cost, race details, bike and gear, visit the track or www.usabmx.com.