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West Shore BMX rider on the fast track with Olympic training

Took part in RBC Training Ground
Nico Martinez Arroyo, a 14-year-old BMX cyclist, is on an accelerated journey to the Olympics. (Submitted photo)

Nico Martinez Arroyo, a 14-year-old BMX cyclist, is on an accelerated journey to the Olympics, thanks to his standout performance at the RBC Training Ground national final.

Arroyo, a student at Royal Bay Secondary School on the West Shore and a dedicated BMX athlete training at Victoria BMX, stood out among more than 2,200 athletes aged 14 to 25 who participated in this year’s RBC Training Ground.

This annual cross-country talent search, conducted in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Sport Institutes, invited only 100 athletes to the final event held in Toronto on Dec. 2. Out of the finalists, a select 30 were chosen to receive funding for their athletic pursuits.

“At just 14 years old, Nico was one of the youngest participants at the RBC National Final, yet he achieved an impressive 1435 watts on the 6-second Watt bike power test, showcasing his explosive qualities,” noted Kurt Innes from Cycling Canada. “For someone of his age, this power output is exceptional and surpasses the typical high-performance benchmarks, even for sprint cyclists.”

Innes further highlighted that Martinez trained extensively on both velodrome tracks and BMX trails in the city, during the past summer. This combined with his stellar results in the RBC program and his family’s strong background in cycling—his father represented Bolivia, and his brother competed internationally—positions him as a promising prospect in both BMX and Track Sprint disciplines.

The RBC Training Ground initiative brings athletes from various sports to demonstrate core speed, strength, power, and endurance capabilities before Olympic talent scouts representing nine different sports. It helps identify the sport that suits them best. The full list of 30 athletes selected for funding will be available at on Jan. 10.

Another Vancouver Island athlete, Saanich’s Ethan Pitcher, specializing in speed climbing, has also earned recognition in this year’s program.

“Some of the athletes who participate in RBC Training Ground are looking to reenergize or boost an Olympic dream in a sport they are already participating in,” said Evan MacInnis, technical director of RBC Training Ground. “Others participate with the hope of being discovered and directed toward an Olympic sport they may have never considered. But they all rely on raw athleticism to impress our sport partners and compete for funding.”

The funding awarded to athletes is managed by the participating National Sport Organization (NSO) responsible for bringing the athlete into its system. It is utilized for various purposes, including coaching, transportation, travel, equipment, and nutrition.