Character Counts

Rebecca Kelley

Fri June 6, 2014 12:40pm

Tyler Brown is the epitome of humble, which is surprising considering he’s one of the best BMX riders in the world. Blond, blue- eyed Tyler is what many consider a typical SoCal guy. He has that “swagger” that most would expect being an extreme sport athlete. He’s been on MTV. He’s traveled the world. Yet, when you talk to him, he’s one of the nicest, most authentic, caring people you could meet.
“I’ve called Otay Ranch my home since 2010. The Olympic Training Center hosted me as their resident athlete at that time because I was training to make the 2012 Olympic team. I grew up on wheels in Colorado. My first BMX race was when I was 12. Southern California is where BMX started, and is known worldwide to be the mecca-land if you’re a BMX athlete. My mom is my biggest supporter. We moved to SoCal so I could pursue my dreams. I think keeping the sacrifice my single mom made for me at the forefront of my mind is what keeps me so grounded.”
June 23 is Olympic Day. Olympic Day is a celebration for youth around the world to observe the Olympic values of fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. It is also a day to celebrate the International Olympic Committee’s three pillars: move, learn and discover.
“Anyone can have an Olympic dream. Olympic dreams begin right here [pointing to his heart]. I chose BMX as a sport because it’s action-packed. Pedal fast, ride low.  It’s also very individualistic. Different from a team sport. If I do poorly in a race, it’s on me and no one but me. I’ve learned that hard work, responsibility and determination will produce results. What many in Chula Vista aren’t aware of is that some of the best BMX riders are here in our community. Nick Long lives just up the road. He’s a 2012 Olympian. You’ll see him on Thursdays at the OTC pedaling around. While BMX consists of a younger crowd, a fun fact is that a 74-year-old man won a national title. That’s really cool!”
Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” In 2012, Tyler took over all track operations at the OTC.
“I’m the team manager for GT Bicycles. I still race competitively. But, by being the BMX track manager at the OTC, I get to incorporate my knowledge of BMX to help others grow in the sport. Thursday nights at the OTC you’d typically see 60 to 70 riders on the track. The track is truly state of the art. For those who haven’t been out for a ride … come! Come try it out. We’re always there. You’ll be there with Olympians and individuals who hold national and international titles. We recently saw one of the youngest riders. He’s 3. It’s not really a job because it’s doing what I love and am so passionate about.”
“I consider Otay Ranch my home (away from home). The community is so supportive of the Olympics, its sports and the athletes who train here. If I’m not at the track, you’d probably see me on a run,or walking my dog around the lake.”
For more information on Tyler Brown and BMX, visit the Chula Vista BMX website at www.chulabmx.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chulavistabmx.
Rebecca Kelley is South County regional director of marketing, media and community relations at South Bay YMCA.