Ireland's top BMX rider and world champion Kelvin Batey has an English accent yet holds an Irish passport. He quit BMX racing for the British team and qualified for the Irish cycling team in 2009 when he discovered his mother's family were deeply rooted in Ireland.
"My mum was adopted at birth and had found her natural parents in Limerick. This qualified me to race for Ireland and I have really embraced being part of the Irish cycling team ever since."
The 32-year-old international athlete from Nottinghamshire decided to leave British Cycling forever after being treated badly by them upon qualifying for a place in the 2008 Olympic Games.
England's loss was surely Ireland's gain as Kelvin would go on to become Ireland's top-ranked BMX rider, and then after years of close calls and disappointments, he became BMX world champion in New Zealand this year, winning the World Masters Title.
With its gripping thrills and spills, the PE teacher has raced since he was six years of age.
BMX, as a discipline, is unique in cycling, as the age profile of competitors can be as young as five years of age. The sport involves developing a highly technical skill set, which is best developed at a young age, along with developing power and speed.
"I was lucky enough to have a track near my house and after spending a lot of time down there, my dad took me to a local race and I was hooked. This is my 26th year racing and I love the sport – it's been a huge part of my life.
"I liked the way it was an individual sport and I would have nobody else to rely on. I had to do the job myself and the feeling you get when you are flying round a track at high speeds and over big jumps is amazing."
BMX demands a lot of power to get a good start and get out in front of other riders. This is the main part of the race, so a lot of time for each rider goes into developing this aspect.
"Riders also need to keep going at 100pc for 30-40 seconds, depending on the length of the track, so a good level of speed endurance is needed for this, as well as being able to take the jumps at high speeds," admits Kelvin.
Being British champion in the Elite class from 2003-2010 as well as placings on the podiums in the World and European Championships many times, Kelvin is a world-class athlete at the top of his game.
However, he has had a run of bad luck, twice missing out on qualifying for the Olympic Games, firstly in Beijing in 2008 and then in London in 2012. The pro even went so far as thinking about quitting international racing after the blow of the 2008 Olympics.
"I would have given my life to race in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as that's all I had dreamt of doing for years, but I got injured at the trial race and didn't get a place in the end.
"After this disappointment, I felt I didn't have anything to live for. I was broken and really wanted to finish things. It had a huge impact on me and I didn't think I could carry on, never mind get on the bike again."
Getting a job teaching BMX in a school in South Yorkshire was just the pick-me-up Kelvin needed.
"I was brought in to teach BMX in a school but have since branched out and now teach 12-16 year olds in a variety of sports, which is brilliant to be part of and very rewarding."
Misfortune struck again when the off-road racer, who had high hopes for London 2012, had a crash in a crucial race, resulting in him missing out on qualifying by one point.
"This was really hard to take, but having had the experience from the 2008 Olympics, I was able to deal with this situation a lot better, and although it was another low point, it didn't take me to near breaking point. I felt I had let the Irish people down but they all supported me in what was a hard time."
BMX racing is widely recognised as a bone-snapping sport with some spectacular crashes. Kelvin has broken his thigh bone, his wrists, shoulders, ribs, and damaged his lungs on occasions which have all put him out of action at different points in his career.
"At the same time, they have all helped me be stronger as a person, and I realise that you have to take the rough with the smooth. I feel that my career has had more lows than highs but having the highs make it all worthwhile."
For 15 months, all Kelvin's efforts went towards him attempting to win the title in the masters event at the BMX World Championships in New Zealand this July.
Kelvin confesses he picked the World Masters Title race in Auckland specifically as a kind of self-redemption after missing out on two Olympics.
"I only went to New Zealand to win this race. I saw this race as being a defining part of my career and needed the win to lay some ghosts to rest."
In the lead up to the big day, it was full-on, as training had to be fitted in around his work as a PE teacher, well aware that other competitors were full-time athletes.
"I started training fully for the event in October 2012, doing strength and power in the gym, fitness work, speed training, endurance on the road bike and also lots of technical work on the BMX track. It's crazy how much time goes into preparing for one 30-second lap, but to get on the start line knowing you can't have done much more is a great feeling."
Racing in the powerful and technical cycling discipline, Kelvin qualified for the final by winning three rounds, and came through the quarter and semi-finals. He then took the masters title from the pre-race favourite Argentinian Javier Colombo, who crashed at the first corner in the final.
"When I came over the line, I felt quite numb, and even though I had visions of me winning the race and going crazy in the build-up to it, I was really calm. I didn't really feel any big emotion apart from relief, as being a world champion is something I always dreamt of since coming second at my first World Championship in 1991.
"I used to sit at school in lessons and think about BMX, sometimes signing my autograph in the back of my books with 'world champion' underneath it. It was only on the long trip home, after achieving one of my life targets, that it started to sink in, and I just couldn't stop smiling. The main words I now use to describe it is pure satisfaction and pride."
Kelvin has also been involved in the resurrection and development of BMX as a sport in Ireland and he regularly does coaching sessions at the indoor BMX track in Cherry Orchard, Dublin 10.
"It's a huge passion of mine off the bike to be able to pass on the things that I've learnt over the years to others and hopefully they will be able to achieve big things in their careers. I feel that it is a responsibility of mine to help with the development of the sport, as in the future I would like to see Irish riders competing at the top."
Route 55 is a team Kelvin set up in 2008 to help new, up-and-coming riders who show real commitment to training and to being the best BMX rider they can possibly be.
BMX is a growing sport here, and by the end of 2013, Ireland is likely to have seven official tracks. Plans are already in place for a European standard race track in Lucan, Co Dublin, and Ratoath, Co Meath. I am told once the tracks get built, the sport will "explode".
"The tracks are situated around the Dublin area at the moment but once they start popping up in new towns and cities, there will be unprecedented numbers taking part.
"Girls racing is very popular and they mix extremely well with the boys, who give them utmost respect, no matter their age or ability, as they know how hard the sport can be."
Kelvin even met his wife Emily in 2003 through BMX as she races too.
"She is so supportive as she understands the sport and the sacrifices that have to be made to compete at the highest level."
For now, the main aim for Kelvin is to work towards qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics .
"After coming so close twice, I feel as though I need to give it one more shot. I will be 35, but it will be my very last chance to complete my career. I feel with the right preparation, support and training, I can get to Rio."