Motocross star, 11, from Northampton being flown to America to do a backflip on her motorbike
‘It’s a dream come true’
Olivia Reynolds’ parents bought her first motocross bike aged three, but they ‘never expected’ her to excel so far in the sport.
Eight years on, she and her family are being flown to America in October by Travis Pastrana, one of the biggest names in motocross and leader of the well-renowned Nitro Circus group.
It began when Olivia and her dad, Ben, submitted a tricks video to the group following a call out on social media and, after, they requested another longer clip to show what the 11-year-old could do.
After hearing nothing for a couple of months, they woke up to thousands of social media notifications one day after Nitro Circus shared the video – with fans of the group calling for Travis to invite Olivia to the states.
“He got in touch and said ‘practise your backflips on the trampoline and I’ll fly you over as soon as Covid’s gone to get you doing one on your bike’. We’ve been talking to him ever since and we were meant to fly over in March, but there was no chance,” said Ben Reynolds, Olivia’s father.
They’re scheduled to arrive in America on 6 October if everything goes to plan.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Olivia, who lives in Moulton with her family.
She started competing in 2019. Of her first three championships, she won two and came second in the other.
Entering Olivia into races was never in the forefront of the family’s mind, but more and more people began commenting on her speed and advised the next step to be competing.
Ben said: “The main reason she got into bikes was watching random lunatics take their feet off and do backflips, which is why it’s something she’s always wanted to do.
“All she wants is to get better at tricks and stunts, and that’s why she’s been scouted by the greatest of all time.”
He ‘couldn’t believe what he was watching’ when she competed in her first race against 30 boys and she’d broken into the top 10 by the end of the weekend.
It wasn’t until Olivia had a big enough bike with gears that she’d be able to do a backflip, and now the time has come.
The family were invited to spend the day with Travis Pastrana and his rally team when they visited the UK for the Goodwood Festival of Speed back in July.
Travis said he had ‘big plans and ideas’ for when they visit America and they’re going to make it ‘really special’ for Olivia.
“The way Olivia was talking to him, it blew his mind some more,” said Ben.
“She’s really confident she can do a backflip. All she owns the bikes for is to do a backflip and be an idiot on it – and somehow she’s really fast.
“As soon as Travis mentions doing a backflip to the adult professionals he knows, they put their bikes away. Like he said, Oliva could be the future of the sport and it’s exciting to see.”
One day, Olivia wants to be the Motocross Women’s World Champion – as well as holding as many records with freestyle tricks as she can.
If she reaches her dream of doing a backflip on her motocross bike, she’ll hold the Guinness World Record as the youngest female to do so.
She’s also aiming to win the Mini O’s competition they’re attending in America this November, and the big amateur American competition, Loretta Lynn’s, next year.
Ben added: “As long as she keeps smiling and is doing what she loves, that’s all that matters.”
She currently competes at national level in the UK, placing in the top five or six with the boys each time, but the family believe she’ll excel a lot more in America where the girl’s race pool is a lot bigger.
“Olivia fills me and her mum with so much pride. I’ve never met a child so passionate about anything in my whole life,” said Ben.
“Everywhere we go people say how good she is, but also how well-mannered and respectful she is.
“There’s a lot of kids who could take this experience for granted and let things go to their heads, but Olivia doesn’t bat an eyelid.
“The only thing she’s concerned about is her bike being ready to ride.
“If she keeps this head on her shoulders, she can take this as far as she wants to go.”