Nic Long is the underdog to watch during this year's Olympics

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This isn't Nic Long's first Olympics, but it does represent a clean slate for the pro BMX rider. His run at the 2012 games was stressful to say the least.

As he notes, "I had some injuries to deal with and I ended up being the coach's pick. When they announced the team it made the past few years worth it. It was a huge relief but I let myself down at that one I think."

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Games

And while he didn't place at the last Olympic games, his loss has only served as motivation for the young athlete to train harder than ever in the hopes to win one of the highest honors in the sports world.

Ask Long and this game isn't just about wearing a gold medal around his neck, it's about redemption; "For Rio, I'm mostly looking forward to redemption. The last one I feel like I made it and that was the accomplishment. But this one is really for me."

Long will be vying for his redemption in the Men's individual BMX race on Wednesday August 17th. But before you see him race for his second chance, learn a little more about the athlete himself.

We recently had the chance to sit down with Nic Long. Ahead, find out where he first discovered his love for the sport, what his hopes are moving forward into the 2016 Rio Olympics, and more!

#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more athlete exclusives, click here.

Team USA Road to London 100 Days Out Celebration

When did you first fall in love with BMX?
My dad just took me up to the track one day -- there was a local track in Lakeside -- and we played Little League Baseball but my dad wasn't the biggest fan of team sports. I was riding bikes all day anyways because we had jumps near us and I just fell in love. My mom made me buy my first bike so I stuck with it, and I've been doing it ever since.

When did you decide you wanted to pursue BMX professionally?
Right after high school. I kind of knew that I wanted to either work or go to school and I had to make the BMX my career and job really.

Was going to the Olympics something you dreamed of as a kid?
It was something I did dream about as a kid. It wasn't in the Olympics until 2008 but my dad always told me it would be. So it was always a dream in my head to be there.

Take through when you first realized you qualified for the Olympics back in 2012?
That one was a super stressful year. I had some injuries to deal with and I ended up being the coach's pick. When they announced the team it made the past few years worth it. It was a huge relief but I let myself down at that one I think.

What's was your biggest takeaway from the 2012 games?
I think the way the village operated and the buzz that surrounded it. Plus, I got to meet and see athletes I had grown up watching.

What does your training schedule currently look like leading up to the games?
I do track work four times a week, maybe even five. Then I'll hit the gym as well maybe four or five times week. I'll also I do core and yoga maybe five times a week.

Has your training changed since you qualified for the Olympics?
It will change a little bit. My coach is actually here from New Zealand and he's helped me out after making it. We're going to do a power block here soon, and really build up my strength before the games starts. And then once it gets closer, our training will really get explosive.

Who were your role models -- either on or off the track -- growing up?
I never really watched any other professional sports, so I loved watching Kyle Bennett. He's an awesome rider and a great friend of mine.

What's your headspace going into the Rio game.
For Rio, I'm mostly looking forward to redemption. The last one I feel like I made it and that was the accomplishment. But this one is really for me.

What was the reaction like from families and friends when you qualified?
2012 was a rough season. I had some crashes and injuries and I didn't do too well at the trail race. This one, I feel like everyone saw that I was really prepared and was doing well at the races. Everyone was ready for it, I guess.

What's going on in your mind during a race?
I keep everything really simple. I'll go through the whole track when I'm sitting on the gate and visualize it all. When I'm on the track, I stick with a clear mind as much as I can and take things one jump at a time.

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
David Herman has a ton and I think they're really funny. I give him such a hard time. I have a little saying that's just maps out how I'm going to do my race in a few words and I run that through my mind, but that's it really.

What advice do you have to other aspiring BMX riders?
Honestly to have fun with it. Go out and ride a bike because you want to and you enjoy it, not because someone else is telling you. Riding a bike is the best part of my day.

What's the one advice you wish you had received before going pro?
Probably save your money. I'm just awful at saving money.

For more on this year's Olympics, scroll through the gallery below:

42 PHOTOS
Best photos from the 2016 summer Olympics
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Best photos from the 2016 summer Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Simone Biles of the United States competes on the balance beam during Women's qualification for Artistic Gymnastics on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania shoots over Marcus Vinicius Marquinhos of Brazil during a Men's preliminary round basketball game between Brazil and Lithuania on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Segun Toriola of Nigeria plays a Men's Singles second round match against Koki Niwa of Japan on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06: Bret Bonanni #10 of United States shoots the ball against Croatia during the Men's Water Polo Preliminary Round - Group B match between the United States of America and Croatia at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Anna Marton of Hungary, right, fences against Manon Brunet of France during women's saber individual fencing competition in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Russia's Middle Khamukov Petr is punched by Venezuela's Albert Ramon Ramirez during a men's light heavyweight 81-kg preliminary boxing match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu competes in a women's 100-meter backstroke heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Laura Giombini of Italy (R) reacts during the Women's Beach Volleyball preliminary round Pool D match against Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas of Canada on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Robert Gardos of Austria plays a Men's Singles second round match against Ovidiu Ionescu of Romania on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Shu-Ching Hsu of Chinese Taipei competes during the Women's 53kg Group A weightlifting contest on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 2 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Italy's Pietro Zucchetti, left, and teammate Ruggero Tita attend a training session of the 49er Men event during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Argentina's Federico Pizarro tries to score a penalty during the men's preliminary handball match between Denmark and Argentina at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Belgium's Laura Waem performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women's qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
2016 Rio Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women's Preliminary - Beach Volleyball Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst (GER) of Germany compete. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Lilly King of the United States celebrates winning gold in the Women's 100m Breaststroke Final on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
France's Rudy Gobert, right, fights for a rebound with China's Zhou Qi (15) and Yi Jianlian, rear, during a basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
United States' Katie Ledecky competes in a semifinal of the women's 200-meter freestyle during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Norway's Sanna Solberg tries to score past Spain's goalkeeper Darly Zoqbi during the women's preliminary handball match between Spain and Norway at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Michael Phelps (L) of the United States leads Chad le Clos of South Africa in the Men's 200m Butterfly Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Simone Biles of the United States competes on the balance beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Russia's Ekaterina Birlova casts a shadow on the sand as she serves to Poland during a women's beach volleyball match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Germany's Karin Schnaase stretches during a badminton training session at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Ruolin Chen and Huixia Liu of China compete in the Women's Diving Synchronised 10m Platform Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Ning Ding of China in action during the Womens Table Tennis Singles Final match against Li Xiaoxia of China at Rio Centro onn August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Axel Augis of France competes on the horizontal bar during the Men's Individual All-Around final on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Members of team Cuba attempt to block a ball spiked by Iran's H. Milad Ebadipour Ghara during a men's preliminary volleyball match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
France's Lauren Rembi reacts after losing to Russia in a women's epee team fencing quarterfinal competition at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Linda Cerruti and Costanza Ferro of Italy compete in the Women's Duets Synchronised Swimming Free Routine Preliminary Round on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: Jennifer Oeser of Germany competes in the Women's Heptathlon Long Jump on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: Matthew Glaetzer of Australia competes in the Men's Sprint Qualifying on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Velodrome on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: An RS-X athlete is seen on the way back to the marina after the conclusion of racing on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Marina da Gloria on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
United States' Gabrielle Douglas performs on the uneven bars during the artistic gymnastics women's apparatus final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Bahamas' Shaunae Miller, left, beats United States' Allyson Felix, second right, to win the women's 400-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Athletes compete in a men's 400-meter hurdles semifinal during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Russia's Darya Klishina makes an attempt in the women's long jump qualification during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 17: Silver medalist Nia Ali (L) and gold medalist Brianna Rollins of the United States celebrate after the Women's 100m Hurdles Final on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Canada's Andre De Grasse, left, and Jamaica's Usain Bolt smile at each other in a men's 200-meter semifinal, during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: Russia compete during the ribbon rotation 1 in the group all-round qualification round at the at Rio Olympic Arena on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 19: The riders compete during the Men's semi final 2 on day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic BMX Centre on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 19: Yauheni Karaliou of Belarus competes during the Diving Men's 10m Platform Preliminary on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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