A Cal Poly alumni that called the university his home in the winter is now taking his talents to Tokyo.
With the Olympics set to start on July 23, Christopher Blevins, a mountain bike rider, is taking his talents to new heights.
“With an event like the Olympics, making it there and being able to represent the country and do what you love at the highest level is something to celebrate in and of itself and I think especially this year with the magnitude of what we've all been through," Blevins told KSBY.
The 23-year-old grew up in Durango, Colorado where he found a passion for mountain biking when he was 5-years-old.
“I was able to see what a mountain bike could do for a kid growing up in Durango. I had my hometown heroes in the Olympics," he said.
Blevins opted to take his talents to Cal Poly for college, which offered him academic excellence as well as the opportunity to continue his biking career.
“San Luis Obispo is a great cycling community, beautiful weather, and I could really make it work. One thing about Cal Poly that was huge for my training to be able to balance everything was the quarter system. I didn't think it was that big of a factor but being able to take two quarters out every year and then spring quarter off allowed me to race for a full season on the road from March until September pretty much non-stop. I am so grateful I picked Cal Poly. There were a few other schools I think that would have been good, but there is no question SLO was the best place for me," Blevins said.
During the pandemic, Blevins continued his training with his roommate in San Luis Obispo.
“I lived in SLO for the majority of it and was really lucky to have the community and space there to train with my roommate,” he said.
And while the pandemic threw a wrench in Tokyo taking place in 2020, he's thankful it gave him time to prepare.
“As a young guy, having another year with Tokyo and another year to focus on graduating was really nice. I am just really grateful I've been able to pursue this dream and cycling is one of many lights throughout this past year for a lot of people and it's definitely been that for me," he said.
Blevins graduated from Cal Poly in the winter and continued his training in Finale Ligure, Italy.
“I've settled into a good routine here and I'm just appreciative of where I'm at and kind of taking it all in as it comes but still being on the ball and giving everything I can the moment the starting line goes off and then 90 minutes after that," he said.
Blevins, the lone USA male mountain biker, is continuing the trend of a mountain biker from Durango competing in the Olympics. A trend which began in 1996.
“It's the continuation of a dream that I had since I was a kid and it's just another bike race,” he said.
Blevins will represent Cal Poly and Team USA against the world's best on July 26.
The Olympics kick off Friday, July 23, and are airing on KSBY.