In 2014 Sam Willoughby claimed his third World Championship, bringing home another Gold Medal in the Elite Men’s Final in Rotterdam, confirming yet again that he is the man to beat in the BMX world.
His meteoric rise to the pinnacle of the BMX scene has been as fast as he rides. In 2008 at the age of 17, Willoughby took out his first Junior World Title in China. The year also saw Willoughby record wins in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, all while completing his year 12 studies.
In 2009 Willoughby returned to Adelaide to defend his title in front of his home crowd. He did not disappoint and in doing so became the first rider in the sports history to win back-to-back Junior World Titles. In fact, Willoughby is the only rider ever to win two titles in the junior division.
Four months on, Willoughby would again create history by accruing the most points across the Elite Men’s season. Willoughby stunned the BMX world by beating a field including Olympic Champion Maris Strombergs in his first year as an elite rider. His April 2011 return to Australia did not disappoint with Willoughby winning the BMX Australia National Championship Finals, his first elite crown. His good form throughout the 2011 season helped lift Australia to the highest ranked BMX nation in the world.
In May 2012, Sam took out the 2012 World Championships in Birmingham. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Sam led from start to finish. Sam spent 2013 competing on the USA National circuit, winning an almost unbelievable 19 of the 24 events – including a record 13 straight wins through the middle of the season.
Sam went into the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the favourites clocking some of the fastest times in the heats, but a slight hick up on the first jump pushed Sam well back in the field and he was unable to make up the lost positions finishing in 6th place.