‘Career-ending injuries’ no barrier for professional BMX athlete graduating with Doctorate


‘Career-ending injuries’ no barrier for professional BMX athlete graduating with Doctorate

A recent Charles Sturt University graduate has added ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ to his long list of achievements alongside leading a cycling team in the Olympic games, and most proudly, being a father and husband.

Dr Adam Carey, 34, from Bathurst officially celebrated his graduation at a ceremony in Rosehill, Sydney, on Monday 11 September after completing his studies at Charles Sturt in Bathurst where he now calls home.

His passion for sport is where it all began for Adam, first completing a Bachelor of Exercise Science with Honours in 2012.

“I studied exercise science because of my fascination with sports performance and development,” he said.

“I began my undergraduate as a semi-professional BMX athlete, and I was particularly interested in coaching.”

Adam was a professional BMX athlete from 2009 to 2020, racing across the globe and representing Australia on numerous occasions.

He still races professionally but considers himself retired after suffering four major career-ending injuries. The most recent was at an event in Oklahoma in 2022, which left him with 21 screws and three plates after three surgeries.

Despite this, he got back on the bike – a demonstration of perseverance, which has guided him through life and his studies.

“I believe my education in sports science and passion for exercise is the reason for my strong rehabilitation and return to competition,” Adam said.

Adam’s drive for success began long before he got on a bike.

“I am a type one diabetic, which has meant that my pursuit in many aspects of my life has always required planning and perseverance,” he said.

This perseverance paved the way for a career full of rare opportunities and unforgettable experiences.

“I have developed a wide range of experiences, from teaching children how to ride bicycles for the first time, to world champions and Olympic medallists,” Adam said.

“I have worked in contract coaching roles at many large events to being the Head Cycling coach for Thailand at the Tokyo Olympic Games. While completing my Ph D., I coached all over the world in pursuit of Olympic coaching success, which was achieved by building an Olympic program in a very short three-year period.

“My own athletic pursuits have had many successes and injuries -the experiences of the highs and lows of sporting careers.”

While he is the first in his family to complete a doctorate, success runs deep for the Careys.

“My father was the Chief Superintendent of Police in Victoria, receiving the Queen’s Police Medal and Australian National Police Medal for his service, and my mother was a successful manager of hotels in Warrnambool,” Adam said.

“My wife is the owner and director of a dance school here in Bathurst, which she started after we were married, and she moved from Sydney.

“She has been operating this for the last six years and I am extremely proud of what she does for the arts in our local community.”

Adam said as much as his loved ones have supported him along the way, he is equally as supportive of their endeavours.

“If I reflect on my journey so far, I would be most proud of the support I have been able to provide for those around me,” he said.

“I have worked with athletes who have struggled with many aspects of their lives, and it was rewarding to see them become successful in their athletic pursuits, their careers, their relationships with friends and family, and their ethics moving forward.”

Over his career and subsequent studies, Adam learned a few key pieces of advice to pass on to the next generation.

“Firstly, your daily habits matter. Secondly, surround yourself with passionate people and pursue what you are passionate about,” he said.

“You have a responsibility in life, so remind yourself of this frequently.

“Lastly, for me at least, I need to remind myself that I might not be the best, but I can do my best and that is why I work toward goals daily, have passionate people in my corner and remind myself it is my responsibility to do what I can, which is enough.”

Having graduated, Adam is already working toward new goals as he advances his career.

“My biggest goal in life now is to support my wife and her career aspirations,” he said.

“I also want to teach and educate developing and elite cycling athletes, and to continue to grow as a lecturer and tutor.

“I believe I have a wealth of practical knowledge which our field could really benefit from.”


Media Note:

To arrange an interview with Dr Adam Carey, contact Jessica McLaughlin at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0430 510 538 or via news@csu.edu.au

Photo: Adam Carey with his wife Natalie, mum, son Christopher and dad.

Share this article

Share on Facebook Share
Share on Twitter Tweet
Share by Email Email
Share on LinkedIn Share
Print this page Print

Bathurst Charles Sturt University Health