By Sarah Sotoodeh
I caught up with Napolitan before the start of Dreamline 2013, about the event, his thoughts on X Games coming to Texas and the status of his wrist injury.
Q: What aspect of Red Bull Dreamline are you most excited about?
Napolitan: I’m really excited about Dreamline just because it’s kind of like my brainchild, it’s my baby. I get really excited when it comes time to start building a project up again and you’re getting things in motion and inviting riders and really seeing how excited they are to get an invite to it, especially for this year as part of the NBC Signature Series. That’s a huge step in a much larger direction than we were when we did the first one in 2011. I’m just mostly excited about building a contest that all the riders really love and they want to come too.
Q: A couple of weeks ago you were at X Games, what was that like?
Napolitan: I didn’t get to ride because of my broken wrist but I’ve been attending X Games since 2006 and X Games is always a really awesome feeling. It’s pretty surreal to be able to be invited to an event such as X Games and be able to compete against people that you grew up watching. Even meeting new competitors throughout the season, being able to see their excitement when they come to X Games for the first time. The whole experience is very exciting and really surreal still.
Q: Speaking about your wrist, how are you feeling right now?
Napolitan: I’m feeling great. I’ve been off my bike for I think we’re going on eight weeks now, so I’ve got another week and a half. I’ve been up at Red Bull in their gym for seven weeks I’d say, just working out every day. I already have a pretty healthy diet but I even took that a step farther and made it more healthy than it was before just because I know that is really important. I just heard so many horror stories about the bone that I’ve broken so I wanted to make that I did everything I could in the right direction and nothing to backtrack me.
Q: How was the flight back to the US after you broke your wrist in China?
Napolitan: It was pretty crazy because it was our last day in China, so I didn’t have to change my flight or anything so I guess I kind of lucked out in a sense, but yeah basically I broke my wrist the night before I was leaving and I had to go to the Chinese hospital. I had also dislocated it so I needed to get it put back in place and then they told me I needed surgery. I basically took a couple of melatonin and fell asleep on the plane. I really didn’t get that much sleep but long enough that it wasn’t killing me. Pretty much as soon as I got to LAX, I had my buddy pick me up and he drove me straight to DISC and we had x-rays and everything and I was actually referred to SCOI, to one of their surgeons, Dr. Auerbach. They did the surgery, it was like the next day too so I was home for maybe 24 hours and then I was in surgery.
Q: Are you excited for X Games to be in Austin next year?
Napolitan: Yeah I definitely am, I’ve spent a lot of time in Austin and actually in 2012 I lived there. I love it there so I’m actually really excited for X Games to switch it up and go to Austin.
Q: Favorite part about what you do?
Napolitan: Definitely one of my favorite parts about riding BMX is in general BMX just progressing and getting better on your bike and learning new things and just having fun. The other thing would be being able to travel as much as I do. I get to travel all over the world and meet new people and see things most people don’t get to see in their time so it’s definitely one of the high points of riding a BMX bike for a living.
A full event recap of Dreamline will be broadcast nationally on NBC’s Red Bull Signature Series on October 26, 2013 at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT.
Napolitan also came to DISC in December 2012 for ankle surgery, after dealing with ankle pain and weakness for several years prior. Watch the video on Napolitan’s ankle surgery below:
For more information about Anthony Napolitan, read his bio.