ST. CLOUD -- Hot on the heels of winning her second BMX world championship title, Alise (Post) Willoughby is spending some quality time in her hometown of St. Cloud.

Willoughby signed autographs and displayed her latest gold medal at St. Cloud's Pineview Park BMX on Thursday night during their weekly youth races.

Willoughby tells WJON she nimbly kept her lead in the Women's BMX Finals in Zolder, Belgium last Saturday after overcoming a bit of adversity in the preliminaries. She calls it a familiar situation.

In 2015, I was leading and had a crash in the finals in the rain.... well, it was raining again! But this time, it worked out. It was just kind of survival of the fittest through the weather, and getting into the medal round. And then, in the final, I had a really great lap. I led from start to finish. It was sweet redemption.

Nowadays, Willoughby lives and trains full-time near the BMX Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. She says she's enjoyed basking in her victory with friends and family in Minnesota.

To get to hop on the plane and come right here, and spend time with them, and get to come out to the track and see old friends ... it's great. And obviously it's sweeter when you're in a happy space.

And, when it comes to happy spaces, Willoughby says the track at Pineview Park BMX, operated by her father Mark Post and a fleet of volunteers, is high on her list.

Both my parents have been supported countless volunteers that have helped them run this track, which was once an old vandalized city park. Now, it's hosted national events.

 

It's like, everything changes, but it's still the same. You come home and it's a flashback to how it all started. It's really cool to see my dad doing his thing, announcing and making everyone laugh and listen to classic rock on the mic. It's good fun to be here.

Willoughby, a 2009 St. Cloud Tech High School graduate is a two-time Olympian, winning a silver medal in the Olympics in Rio in 2016. She's currently training for the 2020 Olympics in Toyko, Japan.