Olympian Felicia Stancil ends BMX racing season with four World Cup podiums

Felicia Stancil jumps during the Women’s BMX Semi-Final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Felicia Stancil crossed the finish line very close to the podium on her Olympic debut last summer in Tokyo. She never missed it the rest of the World Cup season.

Stancil, a 26-year-old from Lake County, Ill., Closed the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup season with second consecutive places this weekend in Sakarya, Turkey. After a victory and a second place last weekend also at Sakarya, Stancil finished the world cup season in third place.

Multiple world champion at the amateur and junior levels, Stancil made her Olympic debut in Tokyo and, one day when two of Team USA’s top medal hopefuls in the sport collapsed, she almost nabbed one of her own. even, finishing less than half-second away from third place.

A few weeks later, at the world championships in the Netherlands, Stancil fell in the final and finished seventh.

She’s been in tears ever since.

On Saturday, Stancil started with a second place in his first-lap race, then took third place in his semi-final to pass again. In the eight-woman final, the American star took first place at Turn 1 and stayed there most of the race until Laura Smulders of the Netherlands came back down the stretch to overtake her.

A day later, she won her first round and finished second in her semi-final. The final went to Stancil and Smulders, with the American leading all the way until he was edged just 0.094 at the finish line. The victory was Smulders’ third in a row.

Mariana Pajon, two-time Olympic champion from Colombia, finished third on both days to maintain her lead in the overall World Cup standings.

Stancil, who now resides in Indianapolis, learned the sport from his father, who was also a BMX racer. She has already said she is aiming for another Olympic spot in 2024.

Naomi C. Amerson