During his performance at the Urban Park on Sunday, the Australian wowed the crowd with a set of tricks, as he flipped his way round the BMX freestyle track. Surrounded by excited fans asking for autographs and selfies, the 24-year-old Queenslander said: “It was amazing to perform in front of a crowd that gets crazy like that.
“I hope it boosts the sport here and develops BMX freestyle even more in South America.”
It was a trip of firsts for Martin: not only he had never been in South America before, but it was also his premiere in an Olympic environment.
“I have only seen the Olympic Games on the TV, but never live. I still do not have any idea of what to expect. First of all, I need to get into the Olympics and I am going to enjoy this ride.”
The stamp of approval from the Olympic Games will also lead to a more professional attitude among BMX freestyle riders, Martin said. “Everybody is going to start training more. I already treat it as professional sport - as it is. But to get it to the Olympics will be really big for the sport.”
Current BMX freestyle world champion and overall winner of the International Extreme Sports Festival (FISE) series in 2015, Martin eyes an Olympic gold medal as a notable addition to his gallery.
“There is no event I haven’t won by now, so it does give more motivation to get the first Olympic gold medal at BMX freestyle,” he said. “I fully believe I can do it. The Olympic Games is something that every kid aspires to get to. Little did I know that the sport that I chose would one day get in the Olympics.”
Argentinian rider Analis Zacharias, who competes on the BMX freestyle world tour, said: “His shows are unbelievable. He has shown me that as humans we can do whatever we want."
“I’ve seen how focused he is, always so focused on what he is going to do. He is in his world when he is performing - like he is saying, ‘I want to be the champion.’ It is so motivating.”