They’re both World Champions, and both own Olympic silver medals, in the sport of BMX. Alise Post of the United States is the reigning World Champion in the Rock Hill disclipline, while Australia’s Sam Willoughby was the Men’s Elite World Champion in 2012 and 2014. Both 26, they have been together since age 18, when they first met on the sport’s junior circuit. On Sunday, December 31, 2017, they were married in front of friends and family in San Diego, California.
What made the day even more special was that Willoughby stood at the altar to marry Post, supported by the woman he calls the love of his life. He was paralyzed by a horrific training accident not long after last summer’s Rio Olympics, when he fractured his C6 and C7 vertebrae. It severely compressed his spinal cord and left him with no movement below the chest, and though he is still undergoing severe physical therapy, every day of his recovery has been devoted to the idea of standing on his wedding day.
The wedding ceremony was held at BRICK, an event space in San Diego’s historic Liberty Station district, in front of about 180 guests. A reception followed at the same venue, where guests mingled with the bride and groom in their adopted California hometown, and had fun with a celebratory “Ause & Sam” photo booth. For the couple’s first dance, Willoughby stood again.
The bride’s wedding shower was held the day before the ceremony, in a unique twist, as so many of the couple’s friends and family came in for the wedding from around the globe. Professional photography services were provided by Steve Diamond Elements. At the end of the big day, the newlyweds spent their first night together as husband and wife in the penthouse suite of the Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego.