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Amanda Carr Interview – Against the Gecko Wall

Amanda Carr Interview – Against the Gecko Wall

Amanda Carr Interview – Diamonds and Peanut Butter

Thai-American professional BMX racer Amanda Carr recently won her second gold medal representing Thailand at the 10th Asian Continental BMX Championships in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. This followed the gold she won in 2014 at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Amanda was born in Punta Gorda, Florida, her father is American and her mother from Nong Mek, Udon Thani. Amanda is a multi-talented sportswoman and excelled throughout high school and university at a number of sports – soccer, tennis, golf and weightlifting among them. In 2005, age 15, Amanda won the UCI BMX Junior World Championship and repeated that success the following year. A career as a professional BMX racer was a natural path to pursue.

Despite being one of the world’s leading Elite Women BMX riders Amanda missed out on competing for Team USA at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In 2013 Amanda switched her country designation to Thailand and after her success in Incheon she became an instant Thai sporting icon. Udon Thani’s Golden Girl is currently ranked (Nov 2015) number 14 in the UCI BMX Elite Women world rankings.

Go Udon Thani Proudly Presents the Amanda Carr Q&A Interview – Against the Gecko Wall

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Love, Life and Thailand

You are a beautiful-looking lady. Do you have a shoulder to cry on?

Yes I do, I have a lot of great friends in both my homes Punta Gorda, FL and Nong Mek, Thailand!

It’s a long way from Punta Gorda to Udon Thani. How do the two compare?

Interestingly enough Punta Gorda and Nong Mek share a lot of similarities mainly in the sense that they are both very small towns and the community is tight-knit. However they are extremely different one being a western more modern world and the other still very primal and true to the land.

What is a typical day like at your family home in Udon Thani Province?

amanda carr interview 10From what I’ve experienced it’s always pretty relaxing. In the morning they go to the market to get their food for the day, send the kids off to school, if it’s planting or harvesting season then they’re in the rice fields if not then at home, and then finally at night just hanging out as a family!

How do you and your mother like to spend free time in Udon Thani city?

I think my mom would like to spend her time in air conditioning haha but I honestly prefer to lay in the hammock talking with family or fishing in the rice field.

What is your favourite childhood memory?

When I was growing up on the weekends all my friends would come over and we would go tubing behind the boat and they would stay the night and we would just have a great time all day together on the boat, in the pool, watching movies and just being kids!

Most girls have a cuddly toy collection. Tell us about yours?

None… I’m not really a cuddly toy person.

Do you scream on roller coasters?

More like an excited yelling!

Are you a good cook?

Eh I’m okay. I can make it work.

I’ll make you a sandwich. What do you want in it?

Peanut Butter and Jelly!

Any tattoos?

Nope.

What scares you most. Ghosts, spiders, snakes or soi dogs?

Snakes.

What’s best, UD Town or Central Plaza?

I honestly haven’t spent much time at either one, I definitely need to in the future.

If you could implant one Thai characteristic into Americans, which one would it be?

Respect for elders and one another.

Describe Thailand in five words?

Family, Temples, Markets, Karaoke, and Rice Fields.

What is your message to Thailand’s young guns about to ride a BMX bike for the first time?

Any bike will work just go try it and see if you like it! Having fun is the most important thing.

Quick-fire Questions

amanda carr 03Pizza, pie or som tum?  Som Tum

Pop, rock or mor lam?  Pop

Beach, bar or barbecue?  Beach

Concert, cinema or NFL?  Concert

Puppy, kitten or goldfish?  Puppy

Press-ups, weights or sprints?  Sprints

Skirt, dress, shorts or jeans?  Jeans

Introvert or extrovert?  Extrovert

KFC, McDonald’s or Burger King?  None

Massage, shopping or cinema?  Massage

Gold, diamonds or money?  Diamonds (even though I don’t own any real ones).

Lottery, casino or savings account?  Savings account

Birthday cake, Easter bunny or Santa Claus?  Birthday Cake

Eddie Murphy, Eddy Merckx or Prince Edward?  None

Train, plane, boat or car?  Plane

Career and Memories

Amanda Carr flying high in a BMX race

You struck gold for Thailand in the Asian Games and Asian Continental BMX Championships. Can you bring home a gold medal from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio?

Anything is possible. Obviously my goal is to do the best I can at the Olympics for Thailand and if a gold is my best then we’ll all be happy!

Which people have been the greatest influences in your life and career?

I’ve had a lot of people mostly coaches that have influenced me in life and my career – Coach Wade Taylor he was my weightlifting coach and track coach in high school. Coach Paul Williams he is my current coach for all around fitness. My Mom has certainly been a huge influence in my life teaching me all of life’s necessities. Definitely my families both in Thailand and USA because each are so close and have always loved me for who I am and look after me.

What do you rate as your greatest career achievement so far?

Gold at Asian Games. My mental game was the strongest I have ever had it.

I know you are very proud to represent Thailand at BMX racing. Can you expand on that?

Representing the USA was always a personal pride for me, because the USA is so dominate in the sport world it’s hard to really stand out and “have the country behind you”. But with Thailand it’s incredibly different, after winning Asian Games and shooting into limelight I can truly feel the support of the people here. They believe in me, they look to me to carry our nation and represent us Thais to the rest of the world. It’s truly an incredible feeling and I want to be the best for our country.

Do you have any pre-race superstitions or routine?

None really, just check all my parts to make sure they’re tight and ready to race.

Are your BMX race rivals your friends or foes?

You know it’s funny because there are less than 100 racers at the elite level. We see each other every weekend we race. So like anything else, some personalities clash and some mesh, but at the end of the day regardless when we load in the start gate we’re all competitors wanting to win.

You’ve raced in a lot of different countries, does any particular one have the best memories?

None that really jump out at me to be honest.

If you could ride a tandem bicycle with any living or past person, who would it be?

Hmmmmmmmmmm this is a tough one… honestly no one jumps out at me right now.

Where will you be cycling to in your old age. Thailand or America?

I hope to be able to spend time in both countries. I love both because they each have their own personalities.

Favourite….

Song: (Currently – this changes when new songs come out) New Romantics – Taylor Swift
Film: Inception
Actor & Actress: Leonardo DiCaprio & Reese Witherspoon
Food: Som Tum (Issan Style) and Sticky Rice
Drink: Gatorade
Holiday destination: Home in Punta Gorda
Computer game: I don’t really play computer games and I have no games on my phone, so maybe Facebook.

‘Oh No’ Moment

Tell us about an embarrassing moment in your life.

amanda carr thailandWhen I was younger at a BMX track, there was this tree that had fallen over a ditch and I was trying to play with all the other kids by walking across it to the other side. Well of course I slipped and fell into the water below. I was soaked, my race clothes were soaking wet.

So for the next moto which was in like 30 minutes I had to wear this mismatching outfit that I had borrowed from some friends. I looked so silly and I felt so embarrassed when I had to go into staging with the other girls. I can’t remember the result of that race, but I’m pretty confident I finished 1st or 2nd.

Mensa or Densa?

The correct spelling is milennium, millennium or millenium?

Middle one… and I only googled it after to see if I was right.

(Go Udon Thani) – Correct.

Two From the Funny Farm

What would happen if Batman got bit by a vampire?

Batman would never get bitten by a vampire… duh!

Why is abbreviation such a long word?

So that it can be abbreviated.

Save the Best to Last – The Gecko Tongue Twister Question

amanda carr bmx interview 03

You have over 40,000 fabulous Facebook fans. Feel free to file your thanks with a few thoughtful thought-out phrases.

If I could visit every person and tell them thank you personally – I would. You guys remind me everyday that people believe in me, that I CAN do this and I CAN compete with the best in the world. You also remind me that you trust in me to represent Thailand in a way that you believe is best, and I thank you for giving me that trust. Sometimes I get really down on myself because I’m not winning and I get into a hole but that’s when I start reading your comments and you really help remind me to keep pushing. Your kind words of encouragement and notes always make me smile and remember how beautiful our country is.

……………………………………..

A big thanks to Amanda Carr for bravely going Against the Gecko Wall. Amanda devotes a lot of her limited free time to coaching kids at sport and Go Udon Thani would like to thank her for putting aside some of that time and much-needed rest space for this interview. Go for gold Amanda, you deserve it.

You can follow Amanda Carr on Facebook by clicking on the link.

amanda carr interview 05

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© 2015 – 2016, Martyn. All rights reserved.

56-year-old wannabe Thailand expat currently living in England. Thus far, my writing career has achieved very little - one published short story in Things Asian Press book, To Thailand With Love by Nabanita Dutt. Life scrolls on but my ink is getting low. Looks like I'm not gonna make it big time.

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