The Charlotte County native is dressed by Saks Fifth Avenue at Waterside Shops throughout. Knit dress by Jonathan Simkhai. Photography by Brian Tietz.

Healthy Life

Coming Home

After her time in the spotlight, BMX pro Amanda Carr finds purpose in coaching the next generation and creating community where it all started in Punta Gorda.

Amanda Carr does not define herself by awards, gold medals or top world rankings. Not anymore. This is a woman who races BMX bikes professionally. She won gold in the 2014 Asian Games and competed in the 2016 Olympics. Punta Gorda’s hometown hero holds celebrity status in the BMX world, particularly in Thailand, her other childhood home, where fans gather in throngs. As the 31-year-old’s life transitioned away from the podium, however, maintaining mental health became a struggle. Understanding civilian life was difficult, and she would ask herself, “Now what? Who is Amanda Carr without gold medals and Olympic Games in her sights?” Carr’s BMX dream sparked to life when she was about 5 years old. Her cousins had joined Charlotte BMX, and one night her dad took her to the track to watch. “We stood right on that last tray,” Carr says, looking out from the track’s small block building that’s part office, part concession stand. She’s dressed in a riding jersey and pants, ready for a night of coaching young riders. “I was tugging on his shirt. I was like, ‘Please, please!’ And he’s like, ‘Hey, calm down. We’ll come back the next time they’re open.’ And then from there, it was just Dad chasing me around the track, pushing me, and I just fell in love with the sport.” The whole family got involved. Her dad and uncles worked concessions and did other volunteer work. The fact that the sport mostly attracts boys was never an issue. Eventually, her d
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