Greater Athens January 2022 - Page 35

world . The Griffiths have been hooked ever since , becoming a full on BMX family whose weekends revolve around practices and competitions as his passion has become theirs .
“ They were so welcoming and he was doing so well ,” Jennifer said .
They decided to take the plunge . His dad bought him a used race bike and Austin entered into his first race at age 4 .
“ Since he won that race , he has been full on BMX and has been state champion three times in his age group ,” Jennifer said . “ He qualified in all classes at 6 years old , which means
he has won at least First Place in 30 state and national events . He worked all summer to qualify and win the state championship . The Independent All Stars of Cowtown BMX took second in the nation at the Houston Nationals . He has been in the top 20 ranking as a national expert racer ever since .”
Similar to some other sports , participants travel around competing and earning points . Whoever has the highest points at the time gets to go to state finals and compete . He worked very hard to qualify and won the state Championship in 2017 , 2018 and 2021 . He was out
for an injury in 2019 and the pandemic in 202 . Austin rides with the Independent All Stars of Cowtown BMX , one of the top tracks since the sport began . The All Stars took second in the nation at the state nationals in Houston .
In 2020 he was at the Olympic qualifiers , where professionals from all around the world are competing . Rockstar Energy track is a 30 acre pump track and BMX Olympic qualifying track . The gate is 60 feet tall , according to Griffith when you are on the track it
appears to be straight down . Austin expertly navigates the complex tracks with determination and expertise .
Jennifer said that it is a very competitive sport and you have to build towards your success , but the beauty is in the diversity and life lessons the athletes learn .
“ These kids are so confident and there are so many life skills learned through BMX ,” she said . “ You push yourself , learn your weaknesses and correct them . None of the kids in this sport shy away from challenges . Austin loves a
January 2022 | Greater Athens Magazine 35