BMX star Paddy Sharrock hopes a newfound maturity can help him speed to success at his first Olympic Games next summer. 

The Wigan-born sensation is hoping to complete a childhood dream next year and compete on sport’s biggest stage. 

A highly successful 2022, which included a first podium finish at a men’s European Cup and a second-ever World Cup final, is fueling his belief that he can mix it with the best in Paris. 

“The European medal gave me that extra bit of a push to say right, this is go time now,” said the 24-year-old. 

“It was an unreal day. From the first session everything clicked. I was having a lot of fun on the bike, the weather was good, and everyone was in good spirits.” 

“From there I made two more finals and then went to a World Cup in Glasgow and reached the final. 

“Unfortunately I crashed out but that’s part and parcel of the sport.   

“The success I had last year has emphasised to me the potential I have. I want to really go for it, get myself that spot and hopefully make some finals.”

Sharrock is one of over 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing him to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering medical support – this is vital for his pathway to the Paris 2024 Games. 

Sharrock knows that qualification for the 2024 Olympics will bring with it a level of pressure following unprecedented success for his Team GB team-mates in Tokyo. 

Beth Shriever struck gold and Kye Whyte claimed silver just 11 minutes apart as Team GB claimed their first ever Olympic medals in the sport following its addition to the Games in 2008. 

Sharrock is staying level-headed however and is intent on enjoying the experiences which come his way.  

“You look up to these guys and find the sport looks a lot different to what it is once you’re a part of it,” he said. 

“You think it’s this massive pressure and it’s so hard to do all these things, but it’s the thing we love so we should enjoy it. 

“That has changed a lot for me as I’ve gotten a bit older, I’ve been able to enjoy it while also relishing the pressure when I’ve needed it.   

“Pulling on that jersey is amazing and hopefully I won’t have to stop doing it anytime soon.” 

With the Paris 2024 Olympics only one year away, the Games are set to inspire people and communities all across the country. Sharrock hopes that by sharing his story it will give others motivation to get involved into sport. 

The fearless Sharrock will have more on his mind than just medals if his big moment does arrive with a determination to bring a new audience to the sport which has given him so much. 

“Joining the Olympics has helped BMX to grow massively, and it’s only done good for the sport,” he added. 

“Unfortunately we haven’t had the best finishes on the podium up until the last Olympics. 

“Kye and Beth helped blow BMX out of the water and it has come on leaps and bounds since then so hopefully more recognition will help us push on again. 

“I speak for all of us on the BMX squad when I say that we want to give back to the sport because anyone that comes and tries it always leaves with a good experience.” 

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Sportsbeat 2023