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Interview with Haro's Kevin Tomko
BMXtreme: You ended the season on a high note, making the mains in AA and Pro Spectacular at the ABA Grands. How do you think 1999 treated you as a whole?
TOMKO: I think as a whole I had a year of learning. I made a lot of mistakes early in the year and I learned a lot from having Steve Veltman as a teammate all year.
BMXtreme: What specifically did Steve help you with?
TOMKO: Everything from diet to training…to just being a friend when I got down on myself for making those mistakes. He wouldn't let me dwell on the negatives.
BMXtreme: Will you still benefit from his advice in 2000 now that you're on Haro?
TOMKO: I will benefit from his advice as long as I live. He and Bill Grad have really taught me a lot about being a true champion. Now that I have a company like Haro backing me I can really focus on putting all the skills I was taught to work and become a champion.
BMXtreme: Backing certainly helps! I notice every time I see you you're in better and better shape. What's your training routine like? Diet?
TOMKO: Well it's all about constant improvement, ya know? I like to think that if you start to be happy where you're at then you're gonna lose the edge. You gotta keep going after it. As far as diet goes, I try to eat high protein, low fats and just stay away from junk food.
BMXtreme: What one thing do you think is the most important when training? Is it sprints? trails? track time, etc?
TOMKO: Having fun with what you're doing, the more fun you have, the better it works. I really enjoy the gym but I incorporate all aspects of training into my routine.
BMXtreme: How would you rate the Florida scene against the west coast?
TOMKO: I think its way more family involved on the east coast. I like that as far as being a pro. We will have our time. There are a few guys in Florida really training HARD.
BMXtreme: Like who? Who are the guys who push you the hardest?
TOMKO: ABBA, Kevin D, Percy Owens, Jeff Dein, Dusty Means, the list goes on but all those guys are hungry
BMXtreme: Abba was flying at the Grands!! And Jeff wanted me to ask you why you liked to push him over turns a few years ago.
TOMKO: He's Fat! No, I love the guy. We have fun when we race , He is stepping up his training a bit 'cause he is tired of the California guys having all the fun. I put him over turns because I couldn't beat him on a straitaway. I have to use what I got, ya know? He's a squirrl anyway.
BMXtreme: LOL. Do you feel a part of the east coast family? Like Jeff's East Coast Pull? Going back to how Florida is more "family-oriented" ... or do you feel more of just part of the global BMX family?
TOMKO: Both., First off here we all like to see each other do good, and the parents are really involved with the programs more here 'cause no one is getting rich from kids having a good time. As a rule if there is money involved then things start changing and the kids are the ones losing out, ya know?
BMXtreme: Good point. So how did you get started in this wonderful sport?
TOMKO: My brother got me a bike because I was too fat. From day one I was hooked. My brother rules.
BMXtreme: So I guess his plan worked, huh?
TOMKO: Yeah , I really didn't lose the weight because I was riding. I lost the weight because I wanted to win.
BMXtreme: I hear ya!! How are things going with Haro?
TOMKO: Awesome! The company rules as a whole. I really have fun with my teammates, and the bike is really comfortable and easy to jump. I am as happy as I could be. I love it.
BMXtreme: It looks like Haro is really stepping up its pro program. Were you seeking a new ride? or did they court you?
TOMKO: I was courted I guess, but I have to say that I was looking.
BMXtreme: So what are your goals for 2000?
TOMKO: I want to lead the points. Anything less than that would be selling my self short, ya know? I think that I can do it. I mean with Haro behind me I really have nothing else to think about but racing and having fun so it's all in my hands.
BMXtreme: Are you going to divide your time equally between sanctions? or do mostly NBL or ABA?
TOMKO: All the NBL races, and whatever fits in after that. Mostly just like last year.
BMXtreme: When you're not on the gate, who do you enjoy watching ride?
TOMKO: Christophe and Kyle Bennet
BMXtreme: What is it about them that you like?
TOMKO: Christophe is just amazing to watch because he does everything without any effort, and Kyle is so skillful that he does things that almost look impossible, and it looks like he ain't trying.
JEFF DEIN (interrupting): Tell Tomko I'm gonna lay a stunner on him next weekend!
TOMKO: Whatever dude. I will give the Peoples' Elbow to that squirrly freak!
BMXtreme: I always did think Wrasslin' should enter the BMX world.
TOMKO: If it does I am tag team with ABBA.
BMXtreme: Good choice!
BMXtreme: So, who is your number one fan?
TOMKO: Michele Peters, and my mom.
BMXtreme: Do you get a lot of local fan support?
TOMKO: More than I deserve. I love my friends, they say they are my fans, but they're really just my friends.
BMXtreme: Well I know I do get a lot of e-mails with favorable things about you, so I think it's great what you do within the BMX community. What you do on the track is one thing, but I think what is done off the track is even more important.
TOMKO: For sure.
BMXtreme: Well, it's getting late ... is there anything else you'd like to touch on?
TOMKO: Not really. I just want to thank a lot of people.
BMXtreme: Go for it!
TOMKO: O.K. To start I want to thank my personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ without whom nothing would be possible. Bill Grad for making me who I am as a pro, my brother Travis for all the love and help for all these years, Steve Veltman, Greg Hill, my mom, Tony D. at Haro for everything that he does to make me the happiest person on a BMX bike, Haro Bikes, Adidas, Lee Jeans, Kicker, Shimano, ODI grips, R.P. … Tangent for all the help last year, Sunn Ringle, Jason Richardson, Randy Stumpfhauser, Matt Pohlkamp, and my roommate Grady Z. for being my dawg, and my boy Mitch Watson. I think that's all.
BMXtreme: Kevin, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. I and your fans appreciate it.
TOMKO: Thank you very much.
Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.