The day Squamish teen Teigen Pascual hopped on her bike to race in the UCI BMX World Championships, it was 43 degrees. That didn't hold her back from placing second in the U16 girls' category.
As she travels through Europe, Pascual took some time out of her trip to answer questions from The Chief. By email, she said leading up to this competition, she trained six days a week on and off her bike. She rides at the Squamish BMX track two days, hits the road to sprint two or three times and still makes it to the gym at Crossfit Squamish two to four times — all in a week.
But when she got to Belgium, where the UCI BMX World Championships were being held in Zolder, Europe was sweating through a heatwave.
To manage the heat — which her mom Amber said reached a high of 43 degrees — Pascual said, "I drank lots of water, wrapped myself in wet towels and stayed in the shade as much as possible. These hot conditions are common in our sport so I am getting used to these conditions."
As racers crashed in the heat, Amber Pascual told The Chief the races had to be delayed, leading to a 15-hour racing day for her daughter. "It was survival of the fittest for sure," she said.
Of her win, Pascual said, "I was so happy to be able to compete for Canada, and my result was the cherry on top."
She may be young, but Pascual has already been chasing her passion for a number of years. She got on her first BMX bike when she was five, after being invited by friends.
"I had no idea what the sport was all about at the time but I have loved it ever since," she said. "I love how unpredictable BMX is and how you're always working to make yourself better. There are so many little things that you can work on to make you faster. I love measuring the progress in these many skills."
Next, she'll be continuing to compete in the BMX Canada and US season until November. After that, she hopes to race on the 10 metre hill in the junior competitions.