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J&R Bicycles National Team Featured Rider-Juan Jose Zuniga

Heather Whitford
March 15, 2024
Juan Jose Zuniga
  • Name: Juan Jose Zuniga
  • Nickname: “The Flashlight”
  • Nickname Origin: “Building my logo we start listing ideas and I love science, so it was a good match.”
  • Age: 9, almost 10

Introducing Juan “The Flashlight” Zuniga! Juan joined the J&R National Team in May of 2022, but he started riding BMX in Columbia back when he was five years old. Juan got his first taste of adventure and speed when his mom got him into horse riding when he was just a baby. “Mum took me to the baby classes, at the age of 3 years old I started taking jumping classes with my horse,” Juan says, “and one day when I was 5 we were driving near a BMX Track and bikes caught my attention.” After that there was no stopping him. Even though his dad was hesitant about the risks involved at first, he found a coach and just four months (!) later, Juan became the State Champ in Columbia, ranking 2nd in Nationals there. 

It's the thrill of competition and the adrenaline experienced during races that is Juan’s favorite part of BMX racing and his favorite track is his home track, Okeeheelee. He says the most challenging part of BMX is, “Your self-determination in training when no one is there.” But he does find drive and inspiration in his favorite BMX rider, Mariana Pajón. “She honors her nickname the BMX Queen and she’s proven to be not just a racer but an incredible human being,” Juan explains. “Her accomplishments on and off the track, the way she looks at every good and not good moment of her life. She’s amazing.” Juan’s proudest accomplishment on the track is his performance at Grands 2023 and he is most excited about Worlds 2024.

We look forward to seeing you up on the podium, Juan! Best of luck from the whole J&R Family!

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