‘Nightmare’ Rio 2016 in the past, how is BMX star Liam Phillips faring now?

We recently caught up with Sandicliffe Nissan ambassador Liam Phillips to find out how the BMX ace is faring now the dust has settled on Rio 2016.

In all honesty, the pain of what happened in Rio has got worse as time has gone on. Initially, it was obviously a massive disappointment, but then I came home and went on holiday, so I didn’t really have the time to let it all sink in.

The further away you get from that, the realisation of what for me was personally a nightmare, starts to hit.

I broke my collar bone eight weeks before the Games after being injury-free for pretty much four years, which was unbelievable really. It had happened prior to London 2012 so to be back in the same position wasn’t ideal.

But then to experience what happened in my performance in Rio, that was a difficult one to swallow.

Because I’d been in that situation before four years ago, I wasn’t too concerned when I broke my collar bone again, I knew that I would still be able to go and be competitive.

This break wasn’t straightforward, the bone itself was in five different pieces, and that in itself raised a lot of questions with the medical team – they weren’t sure if I was going to be able to go to Rio and race.

But actually, my progression over eight weeks was nigh-on perfect, I was back on the bike within four or five weeks and I had six sessions on the track prior to flying out to Rio.

I’ve had three concussions in the last eight months, and I’m in the process of getting advice on that before getting back into training properly.

I’m well aware of the severity of concussion within sport and I want to continue competing for as long as I can, and by taking the time now to address that issue, I hope it will pay dividends come the end of my racing career.

To some extent, what happened in Rio has given me the motivation to make amends at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but I’m still a bit sour about the whole episode.

That’s going to take some time to subside, but I am setting my sights firmly on Toyko. I’ve achieved everything in the sport, there’s nothing else I can win other than Olympic gold. 

If I was to have won in Rio, I certainly wouldn’t have committed to another four-year cycle – it would have been quite easy for me to say that I had done everything I wanted to, and then move on.

But it didn’t happen and it’s something that I still want to achieve, so if I’m given the opportunity, I’d love to line up on the start line at another Olympic Games and give it another crack.

At the moment, more than anything, I’m enjoying a normal life for the first time since I was 17. That’s when I first moved to Manchester for training and this is the first time I’ve ever had proper time off since.

My main objective at the moment is to put a plan together to try and become world champion again next year.

I love having that title and wearing the rainbow jersey, so that is something I look forward to every single year, but I also want some new challenges, and now is the perfect opportunity to explore new options in the sport.

Sandicliffe Nissan proudly supported Liam Phillips on his road to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. To find out more about Nissan’s partnership with Team GB, visit

Image courtesy of British Cycling, with thanks.

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