Eight-year-old BMX prodigy hops to Scotland to vy for the BMX World Championship.
When Parker Carlson started riding a balance bike as an 18-month-old, his parents, Brian and Mariana Carlson (avid mountain bikers themselves)—knew to pay attention. Parker scored a BMX bike of his own for his 4th birthday and began fearlessly hopping street curbs.
In search of an outlet to hone their son’s skills, the family ventured to the local Raleigh track, Capital City BMX, where Parker quickly rose the ranks—starting in the 5 & under Novice Class and scaling to the expert level less than a year later.
Now, Parker is slated to bring his skills on the spokes to the BMX World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 6–13, where the young cycle virtuoso will compete against 36 of the most talented 8-year-olds the world has to offer.
Combining charisma and cycling chops, Parker’s athletic ascent is in part due to his fearlessness and Evel Knievel-level confidence. Translation: His sport isn’t for the faint of heart. … “He’s taken a lot of falls and is always back up as fast as he’s down,” says Mariana of her son. “He doesn’t have an ounce of fear. He’s persistent and not scared to get hurt.” To wit, Parker’s coach, Cam Moore, also a local pro who grew up riding in Raleigh, is another huge credit to Parker’s fast-track to cycling stardom.
Beyond raw talent, Parker is committed to excelling at his sport. “He works out almost every day, whether it’s on the track or running sprints,” says Mariana. “He gets an idea in his head and is dedicated to achieving it. If he wants to learn a trick, he’ll spend hours working until he achieves that skill.”
Despite his intense training, Mariana remains “dedicated to preserving the fun and careful not to push too hard.” And his youth isn’t sacrificed either—a mere three days after his return home from competing across the globe, Parker is gearing up to begin the third grade.
Viewers can catch the competition via livestream and stay up to speed with Parker’s global adventures on the ’Gram @parker_chaos_carlson. Either way you spin it, there’s no doubt about it: Parker Carlson is a pedaling prodigy—and we can’t wait to keep track of how he continues to make waves in the BMX world.