7-year-old Silvis resident to compete at 2022 UCI BMX Racing World Championships

Quickly, Rhett, known as Yung Money, has grown into a very successful BMX rider.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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EAST MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - When it comes to Rhett Pavelonis, it is all gas and no brakes. He started riding BMX bikes when he was only five years old.

“I was at my brother’s football practice, and we brought my bike,” Pavelonis said. “I told my dad that I want to race, and he said okay.”

Quickly, Rhett, known as Yung Money, has grown into a very successful BMX rider.

“He could barely get up the track, or any of the jumps when we first started, and to see where he has come is pretty amazing,” said Ian Pavelonis, Rhett’s father. “It’s cool to watch. Just going from when he started to what we are at now is something that I never would have imagined when we first started.”

Pavelonis is going to France to compete for Team USA in the 2022 UCI BMX World Championships in the eight-challenge class.

“There are two world qualifiers held here in the states, one in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and another one held in California. I think there were around 70 riders in his age group,” Ian Pavelonis said. “They only took four of the top eight riders and he was one of the top four.”

This is not the first time Rhett has received a BMX accolade, and he has been awarded an honorary key to the city of Silvis in the past.

“Friends and family are constantly asking about them, and, what we do with them all,” Ian Pavelonis said. “It’s crazy, it’s unexplainable.”

As Rhett looks to add another trophy to his growing collection, he trains like his favorite BMX athlete, Barry Nobles.

“[Nobles] doesn’t really stop pedaling, and he never stops training,” Rhett Pavelonis said.

Pavelonis said he is ready for France.

“If someone goes high, you can go low and cut them off,” Pavelonis said.

Pavelonis said the trip to France will be his first time out of the country, and that one day he wants to compete in BMX racing at the Olympics.

The family leaves for France on July 21, and while there, Rhett will celebrate his eighth birthday.

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