Burnham-on-Sea BMX star Liam Phillips retires
PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 November 2017
Burnham-on-Sea born BMX star Liam Phillips has announced his retirement from the sport through injury.
Liam is Great Britain’s most successful ever BMX rider, having competed in three Olympic Games and won the 2013 World Championships.
The 28-year-old also won 10 gold medals at the BMX Supercross World Cup.
However, after sustaining hand and wrist injuries following a crash in February, Liam has been forced to end his racing career after three unsuccessful surgery attempts.
In a statement on his website, Liam said: “I can honestly say that I achieved more throughout my career than I ever thought possible.
“Becoming world champion and wearing the rainbow jersey was the proudest 12 months of my career.”
He began cycling at the age of five years, as both of his parents were involved in BMX, with his father being a former national coach who helped found the Burnham BMX Club, in Marine Drive.
After gaining valuable experience at the Beijing 2008 Olympic games, Liam’s preparations were hit in the run up to both London’s 2012 tournament and Rio in 2016 by a broken collarbone.
But the former King Alfred School student showed resilience to compete at both games, crashing out at the quarter-final stages at the latter.
He said: “Although I didn’t quite achieve what I set out to at the Olympics.
“British Cycling never lost faith in me and allowed me to compete at those two events specifically.”
Liam wants to remain in the sport and help coach the next generation of BMXers of Great Britain.
He said: “I still have a huge appetite for BMX – I have gained a vast amount of knowledge and experience over the years and I will be looking to share that moving forward.
“I would like to help athletes who have talent but need some guidance to help plan, prepare and shape their programmes.
“If I’m no longer able to compete myself, it feels right for me to assist others in their quest to achieve their goals.”
Liam also revealed that he plans to go into business, and has already opened his first coffee shop, Common Ground, in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, where he now lives.