In 2014 he took silver at the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships and came second at two World Cups but the top step has eluded the talented rider until today.
American Felicia Stancil, 20, took the women’s title following a crash by race leader, Colombia’s Mariana Pajon Londono, the Olympic and world champion. Domenica Azuero Gonzalez (Ecu) claimed 2nd with Mariana Diaz (Arg) in third.
“I knew my destiny was in my hands this morning,” said Nyhaug. “I was a bit nervous coming into today but was calm during the heats and confident that I could win. In the final I knew I was set up for the win once we hit the first corner. It’s amazing to finally accomplish this at home.”
With his parents in the stands it was emotional day for the veteran rider who’s victory kicks off Canada’s cycling events at the Games with a bang. Nyhaug looks forward to building on today’s win at the upcoming BMX Worlds.
Fellow Canuck James Brown did not advance as he was relegated in his first heat and suffered a crash in his second race. “It wasn’t my day but I’m still proud of my racing and competing for Canada at home was amazing,” said Brown.
Reigning Canadian women’s champ Amelia Walsh had a strong first moto in 4th but was relegated in her second race and crashed in her last semi-final heat. Teammate Daina Tuchscherer from Edmonton, had a strong day placing 3rd in her first heat, fifth in her second and sixth in her final run just missing a berth to the final by one spot. Both were happy for the opportunity to compete at the Games and said, “…racing a home is the best.”
“It’s a great start for cycling at the Games and a credit to Nyhaug and the team,” commented Curt Harnett, Chef de Mission of the Games. “I believe it’s Canada’s fourth gold and we’re stoked to see it all come together today at this new venue.”
1. Felicia Stancil (United States of America)
2. Domenica Azuero Gonzalez (Ecuador)
3. Mariana Diaz (Argentina)
4. Priscila Andreia Stevaux Carnaval (Brazil)
5. Maria Gabriela Diaz (Argentina)
6. Alise Post (United States of America)
DNF Mariana Pajon Londoño (Colombia)
DNF Stefany Hernandez Mendoza (Venezuela)
1. Tory Nyhaug (Canada)
2. Alfredo Campo Vintimilla (Ecuador)
3. Nicholas Long (United States of America)
4. Anderson Ezequiel de Souza Filho (Brazil)
5. Emilio Falla Buchely (Ecuador)
6. Gonzalo Molina (Argentina)
REL Carlos Ramirez Yepes (Colombia)
DNF Connor Fields (United States of America)