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Olympic medalist in BMX racing visits Liberty Elementary Student


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  • Sunnyside Unified School District

BMX Azhp

Fifth-grader Daniel Morgan had a research paper to do that required interviewing an expert in his chosen field of research. His topic is “Safety of Extreme Sports” and what the United States is doing to prevent injuries.

With some help from his teacher Marianne Landrith, Daniel Morgan connected with BMX-USA who then connected him to 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Donny Robinson.

Daniel’s story is amazing as is Donny Robinson’s response to the Liberty Elementary School student.

After responding to Daniel’s written interview questions (attached), Donny Robinson’s agent contacted Daniel’s teacher and asked if it would be all right for Donny to come pay Daniel a visit personally to talk about his topic!

Ms. Landrith said “Yes” of course!

Olympic medalist in BMX racing visits Liberty Elementary Student BMX-azhp-300x154Here is a copy of their correspondence:

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Hello Mr. Duvarney,                                                                                                March 9, 2016

Thank you for volunteering for my research project.  My name is Daniel Morgan, and I am a fifth grade student at Liberty Elementary School.  The topic I am studying is the “Safety of Extreme Sports and What the United States is doing to Prevent Injuries”.  Would you please respond to the questions below to help me in the research of my topic?

1. How long, on an average, does an athlete participate in extreme sports?

2. What type of materials can be used to prevent a concussion?

3. What kind of protection do BMX riders usually use?

4. How do you think the United States can solve the problem of extreme sports being dangerous?

5. What rules do BMX riders have to follow for safety in the sport?

6. What do you think about the Safety about your sport?

If you could please reply to this e-mail with your responses by March 18, I would appreciate it.

Thank you very much for your help.

Sincerely,

Daniel Morgan

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hey, Daniel! My name is Donny Robinson and I’m the 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist in BMX Racing. I’m friends with Mike DuVarney and he asked me if I could help answer your questions since I have a little bit of knowledge to lend. Hope that’s OK!

1. How long, on an average, does an athlete participate in extreme sports?
All sports are different, of course, and the length of career will depend on how devoted the athlete is to their sport, and of course, how many injuries are sustained. Athletes can participate in extremes sports for as long as their bodies will allow, but to compete successfully in extreme sports is all dependent on health and how much effort is put into training. For BMX Racers, the lifespan of a professional career is about 8-12 years, although, many of us have been racing for 25+ years!

Here’s my Wikipedia page to tell you a little about my career:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donny_Robinson

2. What type of materials can be used to prevent a concussion?
Concussions are a hot-button topic right now and for me, they’re all too familiar. I have sustained many concussions over the course of my career, but not many broken bones. I think this is because when I crash, I always seem to break the fall with my head. However, even though full-face protective helmets have always been used in many extreme and motor sports, there have been many recent technological breakthroughs when it comes to the helmets we use. Now, I feel more safe than ever when I use the proper helmet. There have been claims that mouth guards and other protective equipment can help keep athletes safer from concussions, but those claims haven’t been proven yet.

Here’s the helmet I use and the one that I believe is the safest on the market right now:
http://www.6dhelmets.com

3. What kind of protection do BMX riders usually use?
You should see our riding gear! We use full-face helmets and racing jerseys, pants, and gloves that are super light, but protect against abrasions we get when we crash because of the materials that’s used. There is danger in any sport, but all the gear we use helps allow for us to bounce right back up most of the time after we crash. Normally, we just have a little road-rash to deal with – it doesn’t hurt much, and makes us look tougher, am I right? 🙂

An example of the race wear we use:
http://www.flyracing.com/bmx

4. How do you think the United States can solve the problem of extreme sports being dangerous?
Extreme sports are often an expression of self. We’re all individuals and have different passions and sometimes, those passions are more risky than others. I think, for the most part, athletes can self-regulate against the dangers in their sport. Yes, sometimes sport organizers take it upon themselves to push the envelope of “progression” in their sport, which sometimes increases the danger factor for the athletes, but so far, I have seen the athletes of our sport voice their opinions regarding the safety aspect in BMX Racing.

5. What rules do BMX riders have to follow for safety in the sport?
We have rules requiring we wear protective gear (helmets, long-sleeve shirts, pants, and gloves) and there are rules the prohibit malicious riding that could result in other riders’ safety being compromised.

6. What do you think about the Safety about your sport?
I think the safety of BMX Racing is pretty good. Like I said earlier, there is risk involving every sport, but because we have such great protective gear, rules against impeding other riders and putting them in danger, as well as BMX tracks that are designed to accommodate riders of every age, I think we have one of the safest sports out there!

Thanks,

Donny

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Donny Robinson, Professional BMX Racer | Motivational Speaker | Cycling Advocate – “Let’s Get Kids Back on Bikes!”
2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist
Co-Founder: Pedals2Medals.com