OLYMPIC CYCLIST, CAROLINE BUCHANAN

WSA SAT DOWN WITH AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC CYCLIST, CAROLINE BUCHANAN

Tell us about yourself and how you got into your sport?  

I started racing BMX at the age of 5 after following my older brother into the sport. I was a competitive and driven dare devil from day one. I started racing Mountain bikes when I was 15. 

Talk us through the pathway to get into BMXing? 

BMXing is a great grass roots cycling disciple. It acts as a feeder sport for kids into many other cycling disciples like track, road and mountain biking. To start BMX you can simply show up at your local club and buy a day membership to try it. Categories start on balance bikes for 2-5year olds. 

What is your training schedule? 

At the moment training for BMX I have been doing 3 x 2 hour gym sessions working on Strength and power. 2 local racing days, 1 speed sprints training and 2 skills days at the track.  When I am mountain biking, this week looks completely different. 

Have you ever had a big accident? How did you come back from that both physically and mentally? 

My biggest accident wasn’t on a bike. It happened when an off road vehicle crushed me in 2018 as it rolled over me the roll cage broke my sternum and punctured both my lungs and heart wall lining and broke my nose. It took 13 surgeries and 3 sternum surgeries to bolt, wire and plate it back together.  Over 2 and half years I went through recovery and rehab to be back on the bike and back at the top global level racing again. Physically it took time and patience and mentally it took nurture, self-care, meditation, mental health growth, resilience and lots of support from psychologists, coaches, friends, boyfriend, family and energy healers to heal and be unafraid to be an action sport athlete again putting my body back on the line. 

What is your career highlight? 

Winning my first world title in mountain biking in my home town of Canberra. I then won 7 world titles after that and went to 2 Olympic games competing for Australia which they are all hard to split as a highlight. 

What’s your next goal? How do you plan to get there? 

My next goal is transitioning from BMX into full time mountain biking and progressing my skills into more freeride and slope style freestyle mountain biking. My plan to get there is expanding my backyard training jumps and attending as many events as I can to lead the legacy of pushing the evolution of women’s Mountain bike freeride which has only just had the doors open to women. 

What do you like to do away from sport? 

 I love spending time with my boyfriend and friends and family. I have a French bulldog @krave.frenchies that I adore as well as enjoying down time with infrared saunas, walks in nature, grounding and yoga. 

Advice for young girls who want to make it to the top? 

Be unique and yourself. Consistency, authenticity and standing out will be the best things to build your brand as a professional athlete and gain sponsorships.  Sponsorship is all about building relationships, communication and hustling to achieve your goals.  Draw up a vision focus board with events, goals, training plans & motivation but also be flexible to grow with the evolution of sport media and global events. 

Favourite motivational quote?  

“You don’t have to…you get to!!!” 

The Women’s Sports Alliance is a global community designed to celebrate Athletes, Coaches, Contributors and Supporters in women’s sport. Membership is free and we would love for you to join us.