<h5>Cycling - BMX hero image</h5>
<p>Cycling - BMX hero image</p>
&copy; Getty Images
Sam Willoughby

Sam Willoughby

Athlete Biography

Having made history at the London 2012 Games by becoming Australia’s first Olympic BMX medallist when he won silver, Sam Willoughby will go in search of Olympic gold in Rio. Alongside Rio teammates Caroline Buchanan and Lauren Reynolds he will become one of three Australian BMX athletes to compete at two Olympic Games in 2016.

Having started competing when he was six in Adelaide, he burst onto the scene by claiming the junior World Championship title in 2008 before deciding to pack his bags and headed to the US to pursue his dream. After another junior world title in 2009, he went on to claim his first senior World Championship in 2012, just a couple months out from the London 2012 Games.

Willoughby headed into his debut Olympics as the world number one, progressed through the heats as the third highest ranked rider and then topped his semi-final. He was the second to the first corner in the final and couldn’t quite chase down Maris Strombergs as the Latvian claimed his second Olympic gold medal.

He again won the elite men’s World Championship in 2014 while also winning the time trial at the same event, while he unfortunately crashed out of the final in 2015.

Willoughby made the finals at both the Papendal and Santiago del Estero World Cup events and went into the 2016 World Championships as the world number four. Unfortunately for Willoughby, as well as two other former World Champions in Strombergs and Liam Phillips, he finished sixth in his semi to miss the final.

All copy on this page is copyright © Australian Olympic Committee. Do not reproduce without permission.

Fast Facts

Social Media Links

Olympic Information

  • 2012 London - 2nd

Recent Performances

  • 11th - 2016 World Championships (Medellin, Colombia)
  • 4th - 2016 World Cup 3 (Papendal, Netherlands)
  • 1st - USA BMX Carolina Nationals (Rock Hill, USA)
  • 16th - 2016 World Cup 1 (Santiago del Estero, Argentina)
  • 7th - 2015 World Championships (Heusden-Zolder, Belgium)

Career Highlights

  • Winning the Elite BMX World Championships five times
  • Winning Olympic Games silver at the London 2012 Games
  • Being a three-time USABMX National Number 1 Pro


  • Primary
    Hallett Cove South Primary School (SA, Australia)
  • Secondary
    Brighton Secondary (SA, Australia)
  • Tertiary


  • Coach
    Wade Bootes (2006-current)
  • Club
    Chula VIsta BMX, California, USA
  • Institute/Academy
  • Primary Training Base
    San Diego,US
  • Secondary Training Base
    Adelaide, Australia


TV Volume should be on an even number
Favourite food
Favourite holiday destination
I think Thailand would be i just have to go there to be sure
Favourite music
Rise Against
Dream car
Ford Raptor
Personal Motto
I believe the harder you work the luckier you get
Star Sign
I would spend my last $10 on
A cup of coffee
If I could try another Olympic sport it would be
Track Sprint
Most Inspiring Olympic Performance?
Usain Bolt's 100m in Beijing was phenomenal
First Olympic Memory?
Cathy Freeman Winning in Sydney
Most Influential person in your career/life
My parents and my Fiancee Alise Post
Why this sport?
Because I am an individual, i love bikes and i am super completive so it seemed like a good fit.