The Survivor Story - Making it big as an Indian extreme sports Athlete
A glimpse into the perilous world of MTB Freestyling and Lakshay Jangid's career - from an inspired 6th grader to World Freestyling Champion. Here's the Inspirar Athlete's journey in his own words
My name is Lakshay Jangid, and I'm a mountain bike freestyle rider. I firmly believe that sport can create a positive impact on our society, particularly on our youth. My effort in sports have always been directed towards helping and inspiring others - being a part of Eco Paddlers (A non profit community) to promote causes related to the environment, mental health and to help create a culture of health & fitness in India.
How it all began
My story began with a childhood love for cycling. Back in 2008, I saw an older schoolmate perform stunts on his bicycle. I tried to copy him on my way back home, and after a few attempts, tasted some success. It was at that moment I realised, I had found my passion. The very next day, I began researching bicycle freestyling, its forms & techniques. After years of hard work (a lot of falling down, a lot of picking myself up) and practice, I was selected for the World Championship in 2014 as part of the Indian contingent. I finished in 11th position on the global ranking that year, which helped me put our Indian freestyle community on the global map.
Becoming a World Record Holder
In 2015, I set a world record for completing the longest headstand on a moving cycle for 1.05 km in 3.36 minutes which is registered in the Limca Book of Records, the India Book of Records and World Record Setters. My record stands to this date - the result of rigorous training to perform a headstand on a cycle and motorbike (which has never been done before).
I wanted to take my passion to the next level and decided to set a record for the longest headstand while riding. I set out to the legendary Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur and attempted to get from the mountain top to its base while performing a headstand on a stunt bike. After numerous attempts that week, I completed the feat, clocking 1.05 km in 3.36 minutes. This year, I've set my mind to break my own record with a new target distance of 3.5 km.
Representing India & becoming World Champion
In 2015 I participated in and won the national MTB Stunt Championship in Lucknow. I later went on to secure the 3rd position in the World Championship out of 109
riders from around the world. In 2016, I achieved the pole position and finished first in the World Championship - making my community and country proud. In 2017 I received an invitation from the organisers of the World Championship in Poland to participate in the MTB Grand Prix 2017. I was once again excited to represent India and successfully secured the maximum number of points, for a second time in a row to retain my title as World Champion.
Injury and Comeback
After these accolades, people started connecting with me & my game; my presence in the community began growing. Organisers from various MTB races and events began inviting me to perform. In 2018, just before the World Championships in Poland - a knee muscle tear injury knocked me out of the competition. It wasn't just physical, but a mental setback as well - I had trained hard to defend my crown. The injury helped me realise that along with hard work, it takes focus and patience to maintain your aspirations. The experience helped me train my mind and become a more resilient athlete.
I was given an opportunity to become a jury member of the World Championship
Committee, but turned it down as my priority was to continue promoting the sport in India. After my recovery, I resumed participating in MTB races, and in 2019, won the Sanduro 2019 MTB Competition. In my comeback to the World Championship that year, I secured the 2nd position.
Growing the MTB Freestyle community in India
My goal is to make India and the community proud - set an example for young athletes who are aspiring to be freestyle bicycle riders. Raising the Indian flag
on the podium after winning the world championship was and will continue to be the best moment(s) of my life. My plan for the future is to keep participating in MTB competitions and represent India. I'm currently working on
ways to uplift the MTB stunt community in India by providing young athletes with guidance through coaching, tutorial videos and interacting with the online community. Being an Inspirar athlete has helped me take my efforts to grow the sport in a new direction and I'm looking forward to paving the way for new riders!
I'm Lakshay Jangid, and I'm inspiring my country to play.
Inspirar Sports provides comprehensive sports management services to the sporting community in India & around the world. Built and run by athletes turned professionals - our services aim to cater to sports participants and stakeholders at all levels. Our services range from sports career guidance, sports curriculum development, sponsorship consultancy to E-sports management and beyond.