Teigen Pascual rode to a ninth-place finish in women's BMX at the 2023 Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile. The 20-year-old Squamish native ended up fifth twice and fourth once in each of her semifinal heats, thereby missing out on the finals.
Fellow Canadian Molly Simpson broke through for silver on Oct. 22 after delivering consistent top three results across six quarter- and semi-final heats. Her final time, 36 seconds flat, was just over a second away from Colombian winner Mariana Pajón Londoño (34.400). Colombia also took the bronze medal with Gabriela Bolle Carrillo (36.500).
"Absolute amazing experience to represent Canada in my first major games," Pascual said on her Instagram account. "Atmosphere and vibes were incredible. Racing wasn’t my best, but another learning experience in the bag so can’t complain. Ready to go back to my second home for the end of the year work."
“Honestly, I think that was the craziest race I’ve ever raced,” said Simpson about her performance in a press release. “Came out of lane five and decent start, just tried to get over but there was carnage, people were hitting tires and it was just crazy. I did my best to get out of that and hold that second spot. I looked up to Mariana Pajón for so long. She’s a two-time Olympic gold medallist, she’s my idol, so placing behind her is just amazing. It shows that I’m almost there and I’ve just got to keep working and I’m really enjoying it.”
Simpson, from Red Deer, Alta., is also the incumbent bronze medallist from this year's UCI BMX Racing World Championships.
On the men's side, Ryan Tougas of Pitt Meadows, B.C. and Etobicoke, Ont.'s Curtis Krey paced Canada in 10th and 11th respectively. Americans Kamren Larsen (31.810) and Cameron Wood (31.860) locked up first and second, with Carlos Alberto Ramirez Yepes of Colombia in third (32.400).
“The team worked really hard for this,” said Canadian national cycling coach Adam Muys in a release. “Molly battled throughout the day, had a small mistake in her second semi-final, which we capitalized on by learning moves to make in the final. I’m really happy she performed her best to take the silver medal. Coming into this, Ryan was dealing with a bit of an injury, which he worked through and pushed himself until the last heat for making the final, where he just missed out. Curtis, too, was coming back from an early season injury. It was really exciting to see him battle all year to get back to the level he wants to be at.”