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Rhythm - Ronnie Kim

Filed under General on March 05, 2018 | Comment(s)

 

The SoCal city of Corona has quite a history with the

sport of BMX - as it was once home to the World’s gnarliest

and most legendary downhill tracks. Plenty of BMX

Hall of Famers - like Stu Thomsen, Kevin McNeal, and Eric

Carter have also called it home. But today, in modern-day

BMX, Corona’s biggest BMX connection is 12-year-old RONNIE KIM.

 

So we were all set for this interview and had built up a

file of great shots of you from the Grands in your Full

Tilt uniform - then the news was announced that you’d

be riding for Box-Components in 2018. How’d that all

come about?

RONNIE: It happened all too quick! Right before Christmas

I got a message from Box that they were having a younger

Amateur Program for 2018. My name came up and we went

in for an interview. Everything turned out to be exactly what I

wanted. I have always been supported by Box Components,

while on Haro and Full Tilt. I love the brand and it has been

a winning combination since I started racing BMX in 2011.”

What are you looking forward to the most - in 2018?

RONNIE: “Have a lot of FUN! To represent my sponsor and

co-sponsors well. Go to all the biggest USA BMX Nationals

to possibly capture the National No.1 Title!”

 

Are you planning on going to Baku for the Worlds?

RONNIE: “Yes, I want to go and defend my World-1 title and

try to win both class and cruiser. It’s a long flight and a long

ways from home, but we are currently thinking about it.”

 

Of all the races you won last year - is there one race in

particular that stands out the most as your favorite?

RONNIE: “The 11-year-old Challenge main event at the

World Championships in Rock Hill was my favorite. It was a

long day full of fun and excitement. I got to hang out with all

my buddies, representing the United States of America and

at the same time making new friends all around the world. It

was an experience I will never forget.”

 

Would you say that you are more of a natural at BMX

racing, or are you really working hard to be on top?

RONNIE: “I am not a natural. I am very consistent and I feel

very blessed to have learned from BMX icons like Richie

Anderson, Mike Redman, and Donavon Long. They are

all excellent trainers and mentors who made my success

possible. My dad was a BMX rider in the 80’s and has had

a big impact on my success. He has been my secret to my

success.”

 

How hard do you work at being as fast as you are?

RONNIE: “I work hard, all around, to try to be consistent.

We go to the track a few times a week. When I am not at

the track, I am at the gym working out two to three times a

week. Mostly I do a lot of reps and work my core muscles. I

am learning new exercises that are really helping me on and

off the track. Most of my training at the track is between two

to four hours. Most clinics and training sessions are three to

four hours. I also do a lot of off track training near my home.

It’s a training exercise I have been doing with my dad and

my friends since I started BMX. I have built a lot of strength

and stamina riding the steep trails on my BMX racing bike.”

 

For you, what is the most fun thing about BMX racing?

RONNIE: “Traveling to new places and riding new tracks,

and making friends all over the World.”

Mike Redman was your first major sponsor; correct?

How much did his support in those early days help

make you what you are today?

RONNIE: “Factory Redman was my first major sponsor.

All of my BMX foundation started from there. Mike showed

me how to become a great racer. He showed me all the

manners and respect that goes with BMX. Still to this day

he trains and mentors me to be focused and ready! I can’t

thank him enough for all the love I get from him.”

 

I remember way back in 2012, talking with Bob Morales

- Dane’s dad, and he told us flat out: “That Ronnie Kim

kid is the real deal. He’s going to be hard to beat.” And

then you won your first NAG No.1 plate the following

year and have owned it ever since. What’s it feel like to

be No.1 in your age group for five straight years now?

RONNIE: “First, I’d like to say it’s been a privilege to train

and race Dane Morales. He was so mentally and physically

focused and confident. I needed to do a lot of training to

compete at that level. Dane is part of the reason I had so

much success. To be honest, there has not been anyone

that gave me the type of competition like Dane did. It has

been an awesome feeling knowing you are the best in the

country for the past five years in a row. It’s been a privilege,

with a lot of hard work. Being a Champion

is tough - knowing that everyone is

training hard to take the crown. I know

I must work harder and wiser to keep

what I got. Importantly, I must act and

behave like a champion.”

 

Of those five NAG No.1 plates - which

one has meant the most, so far?

RONNIE: “My first NAG No.1 was the

biggest accomplishment. I never thought

I would come this far and win the title

from the toughest champion, competitor,

and friend.”

 

The record for most consecutive NAG

No.1’s (on 20”) is now EIGHT in a row,

held by your former Full Tilt teammate,

Jack Kelly. How many more

consecutive NAG plates do you think

you can win?

RONNIE: “Jack is incredible and he’s

an awesome friend of mine. To achieve

more consecutive NAG 1 plates is going

to take a lot of hard work, perseverance,

and training. I will be focusing year by

year to stay undefeated in my age group.

I plan on following in Jack’s footsteps.

 

So, do you just take it just one race at

a time or look at the entire series or

year?

RONNIE: “I focus year by year - going

to the biggest races, facing my hardest

competition, and focus on being ready

for the Grand Nationals.”

 

In your class, you’re always up

against some mighty tough competition

- from Ty Beadle to Bobby Wasabi,

Wyatt Worth to Michael Villanueva,

all the way up to that Brazilian ripper

Lucas Zimmerman. In your mind, who

is the toughest guy to beat right now?

RONNIE: “Looking back at my past

races, Bobby has been my toughest

competitor. He has a heart of steel and

has come a long way since we both

started. Wyatt, Lucas, Ty, and Michael

are all strong competitors that can take

your spot. For example: Wyatt Worth has

beaten top ranked NAG riders in ‘Vegas.

He is extremely powerful at short tracks

and will not be overlooked. Lately, Lucas

and Michael have been more competitive

than ever. Watch out for these guys!”

 

You race X-Open classes a lot, right?

How much does that help you to

gauge yourself against kids one year

older than you?

RONNIE: “I like racing bigger and faster

riders. It gives me a better idea where

I stand. Racing Open classes has

mentally and physically prepared me to

be better throughout the year. Since my

birthday is in January, most older kids

will transfer out of my class before the

Grands and leaves younger kids moving

into my class. My goal is to age up and

start winning and each year the gap is

getting more narrow.”

 

BMX is definitely a mental sport as

much as it is power. What is your

mindset when you get up in the gate

for a National main?

RONNIE: “I try to stay calm as much as

possible right before any main event. I

have a lot of confidence when I am faced

with the same age riders at the Grands

but when I am facing top NAG riders

from one age up, I do get a bit nervous.

I’ve been taught to never doubt myself

so I remain confident that I can win with

anyone in the main event.”

 

There are so many great things available

for the best racers in BMX - from

College Scholarships to Olympic

glory, or even a future working in

the bicycle industry. What are your

dreams and goals for your future?

RONNIE: “I hope to continue racing

BMX and continue my education. My

dream is to someday be able to represent

the United States of America in the

Olympics. Then I hope to be an innovator

in the BMX/Cycling industry after

finishing my college education.”

 

We have no doubt that you will succeed

with that mission. Thanks for

the interview Ronnie, and best of luck

to you this year.

 

RONNIE’S FAVES

Favorite Food?

Seafood - Lobster, shrimp, and crab!

Favorite Track?

Grand Prix BMX - my Home Track.

Favorite Pro?

Connor Fields.

Favorite Country?

USA, of course!

Favorite Bike of All Time?

Redman.

Favorite Place to Eat?

Chili’s.

Favorite Car?

Porsche 911 Turbo

Favorite Thing to Do besides BMX?

Go to the gym and hang out with

friends.

Favorite Subject in School?

Math

Favorite State to Visit?

Hawaii

 

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