Corey Bohan is one of the smoothest, most stylish BMX riders around, and he’s high on the favorites list of most riders today. His Australian roots helped make him a natural on trails and in concrete parks, and he’s no slouch on a surfboard, either.
The high-profile rider, who owns three X Games gold medals in BMX Dirt and five NORA Cup awards for Dirt Jumper of the Year, has been noticeably absent since his appearance at X Games 17 in July, when he crashed in one of his Park runs and walked off the course clutching his wrist.
Unfortunately, the resulting injury took some time to diagnose correctly, leaving Bohan with months off the bike, wondering when the pain in his wrist would subside. A recent surgery finally has him on the right track, so he’s now eyeing up his return to riding and some exciting projects for 2012.
We caught up with him recently to chat about the injury and the grassroots push to return the BMX Dirt discipline to the X Games, which dropped the event in 2007. Read on to see what he had to say.
"It’s been ten years that I’ve been over here competing and this is my first surgery."
So you’re still dealing with the results of your crash at X Games over the summer?
Yeah, my second run in prelims is when it all happened. The way I came down, I thought I had broken bones, but I had x-rays that day and followed up two weeks later with more x-rays, but they didn’t show anything. It started to feel better but then it just got to a point where nothing was changing, and that was about five weeks after the crash.
I crashed again at a contest in Salt Lake City and it hurt like hell, so I figured there was something going on. I had an MRI and they found a tear in the scapholunate ligament. It’s the ligament that’s attached to the scaphoid bone -- which everyone in BMX knows about -- and runs to the center of your wrist. If it breaks, then the bones drift, so the doctor was like, “We have to get this fixed,” and five days later I was in surgery. I now have three pins in there, and they’re anchoring the ligament back to the bone.
When do you think you’ll be riding again?
The doctor reckons that I’ll be about 100% in the middle of January. I had a follow-up x-ray recently and he said everything was looking good and on schedule. I’ve got a lot of rehab ahead to make it strong.
I’ve been pretty lucky, because it’s been ten years that I’ve been over here competing and this is my first surgery. I’m just trying to stay positive and do what I can while I’m down and out to come back and be strong.
Check out Corey in this Red Bull Ride & Seek clip:
You’ve already had a lot of time off the bike; what have you been doing to keep yourself occupied?
It’s been a lot of Xbox and finding creative ways to pass the days.
Like watching ’80s movies?
Oh, man -- all day [laughs]. If anyone’s seen my Twitter, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing.
You’ve made some trips back home to Australia, right?
I was the best man at my buddy’s wedding back home, so I was back in Oz when the Red Bull Dream Line event was unfolding -- it looked amazing, so fingers crossed there’s going to be more of that coming around. But yeah, I’ve been back in Oz a fair bit; whenever I get hurt, the first thing on my mind is to get home and hang out with family and friends there.
Has this injury and having your first surgery affected your approach for 2012?
I’m going to focus on being in the best shape I can be in, so I’m focusing on strength and nutrition. I also want to try to progress my riding a bit more; I’ve been at a stage where I’m comfortable and I was happy with the way I was riding, but I want to give it a nudge, you know? There’s a lot planned; it’s going to be a busy, exciting year.
There’s been a recent groundswell of support to get BMX Dirt back into the X Games; what are your thoughts on that?
Dirt was such a big thing at X Games for such a long time, and the way it just fizzled out… Now it’s been long enough that people have gotten past the anger stage, and they just want to give BMX dirt the proper platform. I think X Games just needs to take a look at what’s happening with events like Red Bull Dream Line; it needs to be shown. It’s proper BMX.
I know there’s been a big push for it on Twitter -- everyone's voicing it. Street riders who don’t even ride dirt want to see it back in. It’s just a great, competitive event. It’d be cool to see it come back with some force, really show what it’s about.
So what’s on your agenda for the next couple of months?
We’ve got a lot in the works with The Set [Ed. Note: The Set is Corey’s bike sponsor.] -- we had a setback this year dealing with Taiwan, it’s been a nightmare. My boss is over there getting the product line ready for next year -- we've got a lot of new stuff that everyone on the team has had input on. So that’s going to be exciting, and to get to January, I’m just doing what I can to get healthy and get the wrist back to 100%.