20 Jan 2022

BMX Cyclist Kai Sakakibara named as 2022 Ambassador

Inspirational Australian BMX cyclist Kai Sakakibara has today been announced as the ambassador of the Santos Festival of Cycling 2022, which takes place in South Australia from January 21-29.

As the Santos Festival of Cycling ambassador, Kai who was ranked amongst the world’s top-10 BMX riders in recent years, will officially open Festival at the Superdome on 21 January and from there attend BMX demonstrations, BMX National Cup, watch the paracycling and soak up the festival atmosphere.

Despite his world standing, Sakakibara missed out on making his Olympic debut in Tokyo, a city he lived in for many years, due to a serious head injury sustained while racing in 2020.

The 25-year-old BMX champion explains why championing the largest bike race in the southern hemisphere felt like the perfect fit.

“In February 2020 I was competing in a World Cup round in Bathurst, New South Wales when I came off my BMX and suffered severe brain trauma which left me in a coma for two months.

“It’s been a long and difficult road and my recovery remains ongoing but what has never wavered is my passion for cycling and my hope that BMX and other cycling events continue to grow and thrive in this country,” Mr Sakakibara said.

“I’m incredibly humbled and excited to be involved with the Santos Festival of Cycling 2022 and hope to use my platform as the official event ambassador to inspire the next generation of cyclists to foster a love of the sport.”

Events South Australia Executive Director, Hitaf Rasheed said Kai is an inspirational Australian athlete and an excellent role model who lives life boldly.

“We’re delighted to have Kai on board for the Santos Festival of Cycling. Not only has Kai experienced significant success on his bike, he’s also a great inspiration to the next generation of cyclists,” Ms Rasheed said.

Today, Kai is back on his bike and riding again but a long road still lies ahead.

“My life has revolved around riding, ever since I could pedal a bike. I can’t wait to get back out there, meet fans and athletes and immerse myself into the Santos Festival of Cycling experience,” Mr Sakakibara said.

Sakakibara fans will have the chance to see the champion athlete at a number of events throughout the Santos Festival of Cycling, with more details to come. 

 

The Santos Tour Down Under is part of the UCI World Tour and UCI Women's ProSeries 

UCI World TourUCI Women's Pro Series

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