WATCH ABOVE: Truro native Drew Bezanson has come a long way from doing bike tricks in his yard — he’s been all over the world showing off his skills and now he’s a regular on the X Games circuit
HALIFAX – While many professional athletes from Nova Scotia are making a name for themselves playing hockey, Drew Bezanson of Truro is leaving his mark in the world of BMX biking.
The 25-year-old Bezanson has been riding bicycles every day since he was about three years old. His first was a 16-inch bike called “Little Lightning” his dad bought for him. Later, there was a 20-inch bike called “Big Thunder”.
His family has always supported him, including when they built a training facility in the attic of their garage.
“We built a little mini ramp up there, four feet tall and added a few features on it,” Bezanson said. “I rode that all winter long and a lot of my friends came over because it was the only indoor facility for us.”
That extra training paved the way for Bezanson to become a professional BMX rider. He competed in his first professional event in Vancouver in 2006.
“I tried to sign up for amateur, but it filled up too quick…on the web site they said if you don’t get into amateur, don’t sign up for pro,” he said. “I didn’t end up listening and I ended up signing up for pro, and I made my finals at my first pro contest.
“Five out of the six guys in front of me all had X Games medals, so at that point it was kind of like this may actually be a reality. I might be able to make this dream a possibility.”
His dreams have now come true — earlier this month, Bezanson won a silver medal at the X Games.
“This was my sixth X-games, so [I am] honoured to get a medal this year,” he said. “During the contest we had three runs in finals and I wasn’t able to make it happen until my last run. So messing up on my first two runs and making it happen on my third is probably a better feeling than getting the actual medal.”
Bezanson now lives in California, but enjoys coming back to Halifax, the place where he honed his skills.
He has travelled the world with his bike, but one place stands out.
“I do a tour called ‘Bikes over Baghdad’,” he said. “We’ve been to Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar doing shows for the U.S. troops. We got to tour some of [Saddam] Hussein’s old palaces and ride our bikes in them, and it was just crazy.”
Bezanson will be competing in Maryland this weekend, then go to England for another event before returning to the United States.
© Shaw Media, 2014