Just a few years ago, Javier Villegas was an up and coming freestyle motocross rider from Santiago de Chile, Chile that came here to America to chase his dream of becoming a professional FMXer. Villegas accumulated trick after trick over the years quickly becoming one of the more well-known riders in the sport amidst the contest scene, and even had a private FMX setup at Milestone MX where he would perfect his craft in between competitions. Fast forward to today and you’ll see that his work ethic hasn’t changed much, as he just achieved his career-best finish with a second place in the FMX contest at the 2017 Nitro World Games in Salt Lack City, UT. We caught up with “JVAIR” following the contest to get his take on his performance.

First off, congrats on your second place finish in the FMX contest! That has to be a new career highlight for you. It was a pretty up and down couple of days for you, though, so talk about it all…
I want to start by saying that this second place finish feels like first. This is incredibly huge, for me! It really does feel like a victory because Levi (Sherwood) was on a completely different level than the rest of us. When I saw his score catching up to mine even before he pulled off his last two big tricks, I was already satisfied with second place. This feeling is unreal, but like I said it really does feel like a win. In a sense, this kind of scares me because if I want to win I have to scare myself a little bit more, and I’m getting old, man (laughs). Now days I think about the consequences much more than I used to when I was younger; especially since I have a family now. My kids really enjoy riding BMX, scooters and dirt bikes, but sometimes I think I push them a little too hard. They’re pretty talented on all of that stuff for only being 8 and 12 years old, though, but it’s taught me that I need to lead by example instead of just telling them what to do. I can’t be all talk. I need to walk the walk. I don’t want to be another crazy moto dad. I want to be the moto dad that actually shows their kid what to do. I’m not necessarily hoping they go into action sports or anything like that, I just want them to know that they can push the limit at whatever it is they want to do.

It was said a time or two during your run by the announcers that you work hard at this sport. What’s it like to see all of that hard work paying off?
It’s indescribable, right now. This feeling is so surreal, but finally all those years have paid off! I didn’t think this was going to happen because I had a pretty rough day on Friday before the competition. After the semi’s had ended, I was sitting in fifth position, which was a little hard for me, so I almost got a little emotional with my wife. I was really disappointed in the way that I rode, too; especially after everything we’ve gone through and all of the effort I’ve put in to get to this point. I knew nobody was seeing the results of my hard work with that fifth place, but I was able to bounce back! No matter how hard I try, it’s never enough and I feel that throughout my entire career I’ve received very little love or recognition from the industry. Maybe my performance tonight will change that. I owe this to my family, though, because they’ve invested everything for me and my career.

So what’s next for you after NWG?
I’ll probably take some time off to let myself heal because I think I broke a few ribs when I crashed, but I want to keep this rolling because I’ve haven’t ridden this good in my life. I’m 33 years old now, and people are telling me I’m nearing the end of my career, but I don’t want to go out quite yet. I want to be the best that I can be for as long as I can!