Finn Iles has some serious mountain biking skills, but at age 14 he was deemed too young to compete in the Crankworx 2014 Whip-Off World Championships at Whistler Blackcomb last Thursday.
Knowing Iles is a local Whistler rider who's been jumping Crabapple Hits since age 11, Vital MTB, a mountain biking website, made a serious social media push to get the organizers to allow Iles to compete, saying he could win if let in.
Well, not only did the #LetFinnIn campaign succeed—Crankworx relented and three days before the event announced Iles was eligible to compete—but Iles proved himself worthy by beating out the older competitors and winning the event.
Here's his "Steps to the Top" video that was posted at Bike Magazine:
"It's been pretty exciting," Iles said afterward. "When I found out I was in I was so stoked. People were telling me that my whips were good enough to win, so I just tried to throw down as best I could and I ended up winning. I'm super happy."
Iles won $2,000 for the victory in which he beat out defending champion Bernardo Cruz of Brazil, Andreu Lacondeguy of Spain, Ryan Howard of the U.S., and Graham Agassiz of Canada, doing so in front of a few thousand fans.
Minors entering pro events at Whistler Blackcomb are scrutinized by a multi-disciplinary committee, which reviews the athlete's technical ability and maturity, and interviews the family, according to WhistlerQuestion.com.
"Finn took it in stride when he was told he couldn't get in, but then everyone rallied behind him," his mother, Alison Iles said. "We're just so proud of him. It's great."
Crankworx announced that Iles was officially in the competition with a tweet that read, "So we hear you wanted to #letfinnin—well guess what, #finnisin."
"I'm pretty much a loss for words right now," Iles said in the above video. "A lot of people were helping me out, they really thought I could win this, so they really pushed for it. I ended up getting in and then I just tried my best here and tried to have as much fun [as possible], and ended up taking it."
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