Throwin’ Down with Dani George

Refocused and confident … Throdwn’s Dani George gives us the low down on her 2018 and where she’s going in 2019!

Throwin’ Down with Dani George

Refocused and confident … Throdwn’s Dani George gives us the low down on her 2018 and where she’s going in 2019!

15: Of 2018 you wrote that you ‘grew as a person’ and that you ‘grew as an athlete’ but also that ‘2018 sucked’ … we think that while you’ve had some bad luck you always seem to be in the mix. Have you sat down and dissected the season to understand what you thought went wrong and how you might avoid the same pit falls going into the new season?

Dani: Oh gosh. I don’t know where to start. I dissected the season as it was happening. Performance wise, I started out the year feeling OK but had felt like I was already heading steadily downhill for a while (since 2016). As 2018 progressed and each race passed, I gained momentum and by worlds in Baku, I was hauling ass down into this vast dark pit. I mostly attribute this downwards spiral in my performance due to a lack of confidence, not to a lack of preparation or potential. Every time I started feeling good, something bad would happen. I would get sick or injured or I would suffer some sort of ailment and it absolutely tore up my confidence. Throughout the year, I knew that it was my greatest weakness and I tried to work on it. I worked with a sports psychologist all year but we couldn’t manage to figure out where my lack of confidence was stemming from. I always had a good work ethic, I loved training and riding my bike, I even graduated from college with high honors. I loved my life. It was good, privileged and full of joy yet I couldn’t manage to believe in myself. There was this hole and I had to figure out how to patch it on my own. Towards the end of the year, I had a lot of time to think and did some ‘soul searching’ so to speak. I was always unsure of my place in the world. I would teeter between BMX and the real world. I frequently thought that I would serve a greater purpose to society by focusing on school and a career thereafter because I was flat out better at it than I was at racing and it made me question my commitment to the sport. It was not until after I graduated that I realized that humans are multidimensional and we don’t have one purpose or another and we don’t serve society but rather contribute to the enrichment of our own lives, which for me, includes racing. By learning how to define who I was and what I believed in, I found purpose AND confidence. I know it isn’t the typical ‘overcoming adversity’ story that makes headlines but my personal and professional life suffered greatly from the uncertainty I felt daily. I am glad I figured some of it out. Heading into the 2019 season, I still question many things but my BMX career path is not one of them.


15: Wow, it sounds like you’ve had a lot to contend with but thankfully it sounds like you’re getting to the bottom of it! Are you happy with how the winter preparation for the 2019 season has gone … are you motivated and confident as Phoenix approaches?  

Dani: This winter has been great. I managed to stay healthy which is already a huge improvement from last year. The off-season training time is great and all but I can’t wait for racing to kick off in Phoenix.

Dani George -DSC_1370 - Kirby Cronk

15: You’ve described Cristian Becerine as a mentor as well as a coach, can you give us a little insight into that and how you two work together? Since his retirement have you noticed any difference in his approach to coaching … maybe it’s too early to tell?

Dani: Cristian has been in the sport for a long time and listening to him and learning from that experience is so valuable to me. I work with him on a weekly basis and I see him more than I do my own parents so naturally, we discuss many aspects of life outside of racing and I find his advice insightful and very helpful at times. Training is a big part of my life now and I believe it is a huge advantage to have someone I respect and trust in my corner. We have always had a personal dynamic so not much has changed in terms of my experience with him coaching but, as he won’t be at all the USA BMX races anymore, I expect I’ll start to miss having him around to complain to. I might just use my phone a little more.


15: So, what would you typically complain about to him, haha…

Dani: Everything and anything. The traffic, the air quality, the rain, the drought, the heat, the cold, the cost of living, public affairs… and on occasion, I’ll complain about having to do full laps. I don’t really mind anything except cold weather so I guess ‘complain’ is a strong word that I should replace with ‘thoughtfully bring to attention.’ Cristian is the only one who is kind enough to listen to my rants.


15: How does Cristian fit into the equation when you’re away with USA Cycling? Are you generally in touch or do you rely on Jamie Staff, and now Tyler Brown, for coaching/advice when you’re in the US jersey?

Dani: USA Cycling acknowledges Cristian as a coach and Jamie does his best to be inclusive and keep Cristian up to date with information regarding training camps and racing. I have been lucky enough to have Cristian at a few World Cups and at the Worlds but both Jamie and Tyler are also there to help and I welcome their advice although I don’t rely on it. When I’m in the USA Cycling jersey, everyone works together to provide me with the best support possible regardless of who my coach is.


Frame: THRODWN Pro

Forks: BOX Components

Bars: BOX Components 7.5”

Stem: Promax 48mm

Grips: ODI Aaron Gwin

Headset: BOX Components

Seat: BOX Components Echelon

Post: BOX Components Echelon

Seat Clamp: BOX Components One

Cranks: BOX ONE M30 175mm


Sprocket: BOX Components 44t

Bottom Bracket: Praxis 30mm

Pedals: HT Components X2

Brake Caliper: Shimano XTR

Brake Leaver: Shimano XTR

Front Hub: ONYX 20mm

Rear Hub: ONYX Ultra Disc 10mm

Rims: BOX Components

Tyres: Maxxis DTH 1.75”

Plate: BOX Components Phase One #99


Frame: THRODWN Pro

Forks: BOX Components

Bars: BOX Components 7.5”

Stem: Promax 48mm

Grips: ODI Aaron Gwin

Headset: BOX Components

Seat: BOX Components Echelon

Post: BOX Components Echelon

Seat Clamp: BOX Components One

Cranks: BOX ONE M30 175mm

Sprocket: BOX Components 44t

Bottom Bracket: Praxis 30mm

Pedals: HT Components X2

Brake Caliper: Shimano XTR

Brake Leaver: Shimano XTR

Front Hub: ONYX 20mm

Rear Hub: ONYX Ultra Disc 10mm

Rims: BOX Components

Tyres: Maxxis DTH 1.75”

Plate: BOX Components Phase One #99

Dani George 2019 Throdwn Pro - Dani George

15: Is it all USA BMX in 2019 or will we see you back at the UCI World Cups with USA Cycling?

Dani: If there is a race, I plan to be in the gate whether it is USA BMX, the World Cups, or the World Championships.


15: Do you have a preference for the type of track you find at those different events? Big jumps, small jumps, big hill, small hill or does it matter? You always seem happy in the air…

Dani: I used to exclusively prefer the big hill but as I have grown, I don’t care about the hill. I like the tracks that are fast and challenging. I always find racing on those sort of tracks to be most enjoyable. I still have better results at the big hill races though!


15: What are your BMX goals this year? What will make it a success in your eyes?

Dani: I have quantitative goals but those are boring. What I really want out of this year is to re-establish myself in the sport. I want to build momentum but the good kind this time around.


15: We have to ask … Tokyo, are you actively working towards 2020?

Dani: I am! I’m getting old but not too old. Throughout my entire race career, I have been competing against the same USA girls and there won’t be much change to that group in qualifying for the Tokyo team. USA Cycling released their Olympic qualifying criteria earlier this year and I found the guidelines to be very simple and fair yet extremely challenging which only excites me.


15: When you’re old you’ll know … trust us but speaking of the ‘same USA girls’, have you been keeping an eye on the next crop who are knocking on the door? Some of the US girls who are eligible for Jr. Elite this year look extremely talented!

Dani: They are extremely talented! There is going to be a lot of funding and development dedicated to them even as we approach 2020 but I think they are more focused on preparing for Paris 2024. I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of them snuck in as serious Tokyo contenders though.

Dani George 2018 R3 UCI SX Papendal - Fifteen BMX

15: We don’t know a whole lot about Throdwn but they look like a fun group … how was your first year with them, lots of support? What’s the vibe in the pits …?

Dani: It was incredible. I believe THRODWN is the only truly factory team in the US. I felt like I was taken care of like the Los Angeles Lakers are taking care of Lebron James. Absolutely amazing support. They enjoyed having me on the team and were happy with my results. Those small wins at each race helped keep me going. I am looking forward to my second year with Charlie Jahnke and the rest of the crew.


15: How’s the Throdwn bike to ride? We haven’t seen them over this side of the Atlantic as of yet …

Dani: I love it. It’s a relatively simple bike with no frills except for the disc brakes. I put my first one together in March and never had to tinker with it all year.


15: The team has added the very talented Tanner Sebesta this year, does having those type of people around help motivate/inspire you?

Dani: I’m happy to have Tanner on the team. I’ve known him for a while and we’ve been on the USA Cycling team together. I think that since we are both on THRODWN and have similar goals (and don’t race each other), we will have a symbiotic relationship and want each other to succeed. Having that sort of support will definitely improve our individual experiences at the races.


15: We saw that you recently got your Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, congratulations! While we’ve no doubt that you have many more years at the highest level in BMX have you thought about what you’d like to do in your next life?

Dani: Thank you! I have many, many plans for my future. I’m always working on or studying for something which is how I keep sane these days. As of now, I have applied to a few different masters and professional programs. I can’t decide what it is I want to do so I figured I might as well keep all my options open. My mom always told me I could do whatever I wanted. Now she is telling me that I have to actually choose what that is …


Follow Dani on: Instagram | Facebook

Images by: Kirby Cronk | Dani George | Fifteen

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Dani George -DSC_1389 - Kirby Cronk