Simone Christensen: BMX pro rider and aspiring doctor
Pro BMX racer Simone Tetsche Christensen is studying medicine at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and can be seen with her text books in between training sessions. The fast BMX racer from Mammen appears capable of combining the two. On the racing side, she scored two podiums at the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Belgium in 2017. She claimed the European Games title in Baku in 2015, won bronze at the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships and finished 3rd overall in the 2016 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup. After an injury-plagued winter she's back on her bike but is continually switching between bikes and books.
What are you studying at the moment?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: I study Medicine to become a doctor
How many years have you been studying and how many years to go?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: I have now spent 4,5 years on the Bachelor (normally it takes 3 years) and I think I will also need around 4,5 years on the Candidate (normally also 3 years)
Which University do you go to?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: I study at Aarhus University, which is in Aarhus, Denmark
How far away from home is it?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: I moved to Aarhus 5 years ago, so it's around 5 km from my place
Do you have a special treatment being a professional BMX athlete who misses some classes?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: Yes I have special treatment. When you are under Team Denmark, you can prolong the study, and basically make it fit around your sport. A normal semester in Denmark is 30 points, and I now take 20 points. But some semesters I have taken 30, some 15 and some 0. So it all depends on how I want to do it and how it fits in with the subjects in the semester.
When you are on the road and have to study, where are the best places to pick up your books?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: Well it's never super fun (haha) but I would prefer a café or somewhere where there's maybe a little noise, but not too much. I'm pretty good at getting stuff done wherever I am, airports, hotels or wherever that is.
Do you have fellow racers who also bring books to the races?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: Some of the guys study, but they never seem to really take their books out (haha) so I'm pretty alone on that.
Do you see any similarities between studying and BMX racing?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: Yes for sure. At my university they did a study that showed that athletes did better in school than many other students. I believe we are used to the pressure when you are at an exam and have to "perform" and also I know I'm good at doing stuff 100%, like training. So when I sit and study I do it well, cause I know I have less time to study than other students.
Where does knowing about medicine help you as a racer?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: I think I know my body pretty well when I have a crash. When I crash I'm good at just laying still and kinda analyzing my body for what I have hurt, and if it's a good idea to move or not. But I'm not sure if that's because of the medicine. I just kinda like thinking like a doctor, also when it comes to myself and what I've hurt.
Do you think BMX athletes who only race BMX should also think of their future after BMX?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: No, I think it's up to each person. It depends on how you are as a person, and whether you can make it work or not.
When you are finished with your BMX Racing career, do you think you will still be involved in BMX through your job or in an other way?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: Hmm, I hope I will, but I also think that being a doctor is a busy job, so that's hard to say. Maybe a little bit, but right now I'm excited to become a doctor in the future and then I think the focus will be on that.
What races are on the calendar for 2018?
Simone Tetsche Christensen: Right now I don't have much planned besides the UCI Worlds and European Champs, and the UCI World Cup in Argentina. Besides those races, I think I'll try get some other smaller races in!
Thanks to: Big thanks to my parents for always having my back, as well as my coach Matt Cameron. Thanks to my sponsors; Centrano Distrubution, Haro Race, 222cycles, HT components, skatepro and thanks to Team Denmark and the Danish Cycling Federation.