Hometown Hero: 12-year-old nationally ranked BMX rider Tyler Bailey

West Greenwich, RI (WPRI) — Tyler Bailey started BMX racing at the age of four. Eight years later, he qualified to race for Team USA, and returned from the World championships ranked number seven.

“It was awesome being able to meet kids from all different countries, and I got to trade one of my USA jerseys with a Colombian kid, so I got friendly with a Colombian boy,” says Tyler.

In 1992, Rhode Islander John Badessa won the BMX Championships, and also won a bronze medal in 1991. Tyler is the first world-ranked BMX racer to come out of Rhode Island in recent years.

“It actually blows my mind to think about it because I never thought I would be seventh in the world. I don’t talk about it a lot in school, so not a lot of people know about it,” he says.

At the young age of twelve, Tyler’s already gained international attention in the world of BMX, but his long-term finish line is on the biggest stage in sports, “My dream is to make it to the Olympics one day.”

Woodland BMX track operator, Dave Strate, doesn’t think this goal is out of reach. He explains, “He puts one hundred and ten percent all the time. A lot of training at home, and a lot of work goes into how he races.”

But for now, Tyler’s next big race is in two months at the Grand Nationals for the United States in Oklahoma.