Every professional cyclist dreams of competing at the Olympics. We want to show off our tricks and win our country and ourselves medals. Is BMX an Olympic sport or not?
BMX racing was introduced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
You can represent your country’s flag at the Olympics, regardless if you’re a BMX freestyler or racer.
Let me tell you what the IOC takes to include any sport in the Olympics calendar. I will also briefly discuss BMX’s Olympic journey.
What It Takes for Any Sport to Be at The Olympics sport
The IOC approves all Olympic sports.
First, all must go through the International Federation. Once a sport has been submitted to IF, the IF must enforce IOC’s anti-dope code to ensure the competitors do not use performance-enhancing drugs.
The IF then follows these steps:
Step 1 – Petition Filing
After the sport has convinced the IF that it is eligible for the Olympics, the IF files a formal petition asking the IOC to admit the sport.
Step 2 – IOC Response
The IOC replies to IF’s request by classifying the petitioned sports as an Olympic sport or an Olympic event.
Women’s wrestling, for example, is an Olympic discipline. Pole vaulting, however, is an Olympic event but not a sport.
However, cycling is an Olympic sport.
What criteria does the IOC use for determining an Olympic sport?
According to the IOC, these are the essential elements of a sport:
- Men must practice it on at least four continents, and women should practice it on at least three continents.
- Increase the value and appeal of the Olympics
- Reflect the Olympic’s modern traditions
- Rely on mechanical propulsion
- It must have been around for a while
- Popular in the host nation
The IOC considers all of the above and more. It also looks at the cost of hosting the event, whether it is managed by an international body that is respected, and if the anti-doping code is in the world.
Review of the IOC
After the IOC has accepted the IF’s petition, everything doesn’t stop. To ensure that its organizers follow its code, the IOC regularly reviews each sport it has added to the Olympics calendar.
The IOC will remove it from the Olympics schedule if it is not. This happened to powerboating, tug-of-war, water skiing, polo, and cricket. Despite being Olympic sports in the past, they are now not.
So, is BMX an Olympic Sport or not?
BMX is shorthand for bicycle motocross, and it meets all of the IOC requirements. It has been made an Olympic sport. It is important to note that there are two main types of BMX: BMX racing and freestyle BMX.
The IOC added these two BMX activities to the Olympics calendar at different times. BMX racing was introduced to the Olympics in 2003. It was officially introduced at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 by the Union Cycliste Internationale.
On the other hand, Freestyle BMX was not recognized by the IOC in 2017 as an Olympic sport and was added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 2020 Olympics will be held in 2021 due to the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic.
About BMX Racing, an Olympic BMX Sport
BMX racing, an off-road cycling sport, borrows heavily from motocross (MX). In this instance, BMX riders race on designated offroad tracks solely for competition.
Many of the paths have several jumps and a finish. The IOC recognized BMX racing as an Olympic sport in 2003 when it announced that it would be featured at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The American Bicycle Association, American Bicycle Association, and the US BMX sanction BMX racing in the United States.
The Union Cycliste International (UCI) is the official sanctioning body for BMX racing on the international stage.
The Redline Bicycles MX-20 is one of the best BMX bikes available for BMX racing. The bike has a race saddle and a lightweight racing frame that allows easy riding and sprinting. The BMX is best suited for riders between 5’3′ and 5’8′ in height.
About Freestyle BMX as a BMX Olympic Sport
Freestyle BMX, an extreme cycling sport, descends from BMX racing. Freestyle BMX, unlike BMX racing, is all about stunts and off-road racing. There are generally five types of freestyle BMX.
- Park freestyle – This discipline allows you to freestyle on skateparks. You share the same parks with skateboarders, skateboarders, and scooter riders. Concrete is the most common type of skate park. It can withstand all kinds of abuse.
- Street Freestyle BMX Riders perform street stunts in public places and on streets. Tricks can be performed on stairs, banks, handrails, and other challenging obstacles. Freestyle riding BMX bikes have steeper angles and shorter wheelbases than different types.
- Trail-freestyle BMX– You ride on dirt roads with obstacles you must jump over. Sometimes, trail-freestyle BMX biking can also be called dirt jumping. Trail riding is more about overcoming obstacles and not racing.
- Flatland BMX Flatland freestyle BMX takes place on smoother and flatter surfaces like paved streets and basketball courts. These events include splinting/racing and balancing routines, and the BMX usually features pegs.
- Vert Ramp freestyle BMX – Here, you ride on pipes very close to each other and face them, but about 2.5-3.5m tall. These pipes are used by BMX riders to perform tricks and jump on.
The Mongoose Legion BMX is a fantastic freestyle BMX bike. (Check out Amazon).
The freestyle BMX comes in five sizes to fit children and adults of different heights. The BMX’s main selling points are its easy riding and robustness.
The BMX bike is versatile and can handle all terrains. It can be used for almost any type of stunt.
People ask questions
1. Is BMX an Olympic Event?
BMX racing was introduced to the Olympics in 2008. However, the IOC only recognized it for the first time in 2003. On the other hand, Freestyle BMX was added to the Olympics only in 2021 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. BMX will continue to be an Olympic sport from now on.
2. Is Freestyle BMX an Olympic Sport or not?
In 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized freestyle BMX racing as an Olympic sport and included it in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Before that, only BMX racing had been recognized as an Olympic sport.
3. Is BMX still an Olympic Sport?
Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, BMX has been an Olympic sport. The IOC recently added freestyle BMX to the Olympics games scheduled during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. BMX remains an Olympic sport.
5. Is BMX Racing an Olympic Sport
In 2003, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized BMX as an Olympic sport and included it in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since then, BMX has been a regular feature at the Olympics. BMX racing is now an Olympic sport.
6. Why is BMX considered an Olympic Sport?
BMX qualifies as an Olympic sport because it aligns with the IOC sports code. The IOC states that any sport can be included in the Olympics if it is prevalent in all countries. The host country should be managed by an international organization and adhere to the anti-doping code.
BMX fulfills all these requirements and is eligible to compete in the Olympics.
6. What are Olympics BMX Bikes Made Of?
Olympics BMX bikes can withstand any weather conditions. These bikes are made of lightweight aluminum and chromium-steel frames, which are rust-resistant.
7. Are the Olympics featuring BMX?
BMX racing and freestyle BMX are the two main events at the Olympics. Freestyle BMX involves performing tricks on roads, trails, and parks, while BMX racing is about sprinting on the streets and off-road. The IOC recognizes both disciplines as Olympic sports.
8. Is BMX considered an extreme sport?
BMX Freestyle is an extreme sport that involves risky stunts, aggressive riding, and high speeds. However, BMX racing is a cycling sport. It’s not considered an extreme sport. However, to ride a BMX bike, you need experience and guts.
9. Who won the Olympics BMX Freestyle Race?
Hannah Roberts (a member of Team USA) was the first to win freestyle BMX at Olympics. Her incredible score of 96.10 was remarkable.
When did BMX become an Olympic Sport?
BMX racing was made an Olympic sport as part of the 2008 Olympics. However, freestyle BMX was added only to the 2020 Olympics.
Is BMX an Olympic Sport? Closing Thought:
BMX racing and freestyle BMX have been made Olympic sports. If you want to compete at the Olympics on a BMX bicycle, there are two options: racing BMX or freestyle BMX.