Biography:

Tory Nyhaug was just 20 when he made his Olympic debut at London 2012 as Canada’s lone BMX racer. He was lucky to even get to the Games, having ruptured his spleen for the second time just 11 weeks earlier, which caused him to miss the world championships. The decision was made to remove the organ and one week after surgery he resumed training. Nyhaug made his UCI World Championship debut in 2011, having missed the 2010 event and the inaugural Youth Olympic Games due to his first spleen rupture. He had a breakthrough in 2013 when he reached his first World Cup podiums, finishing second in Manchester and Chula Vista, and advanced to the world championship final. The improvement continued in 2014 when he won world championship silver and recorded two more podium results in Manchester and Santiago. Nyhaug estimates he’s broken 15-20 bones in his life, including both arms as a 14-year-old. He was back racing just seven weeks later. That resilience shone again after he badly broke his left foot in November 2014 and underwent surgery to have six screws implanted. He was on crutches for three months and returned to the track in April. That meant he went to the Pan Am Games in Toronto with just a few warmup competitions but he was able to win gold at home, defeating a notable field that included Americans Nicholas Long and Connor Fields. Nyhaug started 2016 with three straight time trial wins at the first three World Cup events of the season. At Rio 2016, Nyhaug became the first Canadian male BMX rider to advance to the final where he finished fifth overall in a Canadian best-ever performance.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Greg Nyhaug and Margit Heinonen… Older sister Layne… Getting into the Sport: Was on a two-wheel bike at age 2 ½… Started BMX at age 4 when his uncle took him to the local track… Outside Interests: Enjoys watching motocross, golfing, and spending time with friends at the beach… Studying sports science at Douglas College… Odds and Ends: If he listens to a song before a race lap and does well he’ll listen to that same song before each lap… Watches funny TV shows on race day… Has been best friends with American racer Connor Fields since they were 10… Nickname: Tozza… Favourite Motto: No time is better than a slow time… Had his Olympic dream sparked by watching Alex Bilodeau and the men’s hockey team win gold at Vancouver 2010… Inspired by Clara Hughes’ ability to overcome mental health issues and help people in need while dominating in both summer and winter sports…