Kuylee Pettit needed something to help occupy her summer days as an eight-year-old girl growing up in Big Bear City, California. Her father had a suggestion.
“Well, your brothers used to do BMX. Do you want to try it?”
Admittedly, Pettit was scared at first because she “didn’t want to fall or get hurt.” But, ultimately, decided the potential adrenaline rush that was a by-product of the sport, far outweighed the threat of injuries so she went for it. However, Pettit met some resistance from a few boys she had to share the track with.
“I had several boys say, ‘Why are you doing this? You’re a girl, this is a boy’s sport.’ I was like, ‘this is an all-gender sport, you can do any sport you want.’”
Pettit more than held her own on BMX tracks across the country. Within three years, she qualified for the 2017 BMX World Championships. At the age of 12, she won her first national title, capturing the mixed open division of the 2018 USA BMX Nationals in Las Vegas. She quickly became a role model for girls around the country who have aspirations of competing in a male-dominated sport.
“I’ve gotten several girls into BMX racing. I coach them and try to help them out as much as I can. I think females may be able to dominate the sport more than males.”
Pettit has shown no fear and she’s quite confident the sport will continue to grow as other girls and, of course, sponsors realize there are great opportunities in the sport.
“Red Bull and Monster are sponsoring so many of these female events. That gets the racers recognized and, hopefully, more and more people will get on board.”
Kuylee Pettit is geared up to reach new heights in BMX racing and hopes to follow in the footsteps of her racing idols.
“Caroline Buchanan is awesome. She’s a world champion and has done everything in the sport.”
Pettit may have a national championship on her resume, but remains driven and far from satisfied.
“I would love to go elite pro and make the Olympics. That’s my all-time dream.”
Kuylee Pettit is just at the beginning of her journey and we can’t wait to see what she has in store.
Photo credit: Facebook