AS a 14-year-old growing up in the Netherlands, Laura Smulders tuned into the 2008 Olympic Games as the best female BMX riders in the world competed and wished she was one of them.
Now, 12 years later, Smulders is on the cusp of competing at her third Olympics and she is currently ranked the number one elite female rider in the world.
She has also won the World Cup tour for the last four consecutive years and when rounds three and four of the 2020 series are conducted in Bathurst this weekend, she will be a rider to watch.
Smulders is aiming to add to her 48 prior World Cup finals, 19 of which she has won.
It is a record that makes her the most successful elite women's rider in history, something which that teenager who was glued to the action in Beijing would most certainly be proud of.
"I guess watching the 2008 Olympics on television at three in the morning got me going I really want to be at that stage and from that age, I was 14, somehow it clicked and I got better and better," she said.
"I'm still having fun and I still really enjoy racing and just training all day. What am I going to do after the Olympics this year? I'm definitely not going to work anywhere, I'm still going to keep riding my bike."
While rain has been forecast for the two days of competition, it is not a factor which concerns Smulders.
Rain, unlike the Bathurst track, is something she is familiar with.
"For us Dutchies, it's pretty normal to have rain. I don't really care about the rain, it's probably the wind which is going to be affecting us more than the rain," she quipped.
"It's pretty cool to be here ... a new track on the whole circuit, I'm used to just riding around Europe.
"This is more like a downhill track, it's really fast, so it's definitely going to be interesting racing."
While Smulders placed fourth and 14th in the opening two rounds of the World Cup series in Shepparton, for Australian talent Lauren Reynolds it was even better.
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She qualified for the finals in both rounds, placing fourth and sixth respectively. They are results the two-times Australian Olympian hopes to build on this weekend.
"It's probably the first time I think I've been to an event and had a somewhat extra advantage of being at home, so I tried to thrive on that," she said.
"That was the first time I made both main events, that alone was a massive goal and I guess a little bit of something off my shoulder. So that felt nice.
"For me it was important to start the year well and I've done that and now it's just pick and chose the races ... Obviously these races are key for the year of the Olympics."
Reynolds said she used a vocal crowd in Shepparton as part of her motivation and hopes that she and her fellow Australian hopefuls enjoy similar support in Bathurst as they battle the world's best.
"It's a massive race this weekend, come out to watch us, you are going to see the world's best right here in Bathurst," she said.
The first round of women's races on Saturday commence at 11.35am, while the elite men will begin their bid for a World Cup gold medal from 11am.
The track opens at 7am.