INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE: Freestyle BMX in the Olympics | Ride UK BMX

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INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE: Freestyle BMX in the Olympics

With the recent huge news of BMX Freestyle Park being included in the Olympics, we’ve been seeing a lot of opinions from the BMX world.

We’ve already had the riders’ reactions, the official word from Bart De Jong and now we’ve got the industry standpoint on BMX in the Olympics too. Check it.


“It’s an interesting time with the Olympics, and maybe in one sense with only three years to go countries and/or riders don’t have a lot of time to get their ‘official game’ together, but we only have 9 riders per gender so it doesn’t need much doing to it. It’s pretty much all set, and with 18 riders tops, it’s a very small event – it’ll be over in half an hour. The interesting situation will be which riders and which countries will qualify for the games running up to Tokyo – which is a huge issue in BMX racing.

The closest comparison would be snowboarding – halfpipe and park – and to watch and learn what happened to snowboarding as a whole, when that sport was brought in to the Winter Games a short while ago.

Inclusion could help us all out in a local sense, in that with freestyle being an ‘Olympic sport’ it could help with campaigns to get skateparks built, because town councils understand that basic language. It could also help inspire new kids to get into riding and down their local skatepark if they watch the coverage. It could… with the right people running it, we’ll be okay.”


“Personally I am pretty unaffected by it, but if it creates cool opportunities for BMX riders, and is handled and presented in a way that uplifts BMX as a whole then cool. On the other hand, if our culture is misrepresented and showcased to the world in a way that isn’t true to what many think BMX is, then I’d be pretty bummed.

In my opinion, the lifestyle, individuality, and creative nature of Bike Riding is pretty subjective, so I’m a little wary of trying to cram it into some square mould that seems counter intuitive to its very nature.”


“I think it’s great news! The Olympics is obviously one of the most widely watched sports events in the world and for BMX Freestyle to be part of that exposure has to be a good thing!

Also, any opportunities to bring fresh facilities and resources into BMX is good for everyone. I haven’t heard of anything negative to BMX racing being in the Olympics and has certainly help to add stability to the race side of BMX.

BMX is so diverse these days there will no doubt will be riders who aren’t into it but it won’t affect them anyway, as those dudes will be riding doing their thing regardless – that’s what BMX is to them. On the other hand, there will be the riders who will be stoked on the opportunity to represent their country (and BMX) to the world.

It will also give riders some fresh goals to push towards and achieve so I would expect the level of riding to be pushed more than ever. Crazy really as kids are now genuinely doing video game tricks on a daily basis as part of an average session!”


“You can’t be mad at anything that’s going to put BMX in front of a worldwide TV audience, so in that respect it’s all good. On the other hand you want BMX to make the most of this opportunity. In my opinion everyone in this industry has some sort of ‘duty of care’ to the future of BMX above their own personal gain. Let’s hope that happens!

There’s nine spaces up for grabs in the Olympic event and that sounds way too little for me. The Men’s marathon has 150+ places! If NBC (who pay crazy amounts for Olympic TV rights) says their audience is too old and wants to get BMX in the mix we shouldn’t have to settle for being marginalised like that. Also the UCI/ IOC have got in bed with FISE to host the whole thing… which is all very well but FISE Park really only attracts one type of rider. No disrespect to the vest wearing triple whippers, but I’d like to see the type of riders invited to the Vans Pro Cup given an equal opportunity. Maybe even some ‘street’ riders. If we’re going to have BMX in the Olympics let’s not make it a circus.

There’s definitely going to be nine lads who show up for the contest in Tokyo. It’ll work in that sense but I don’t think it’s likely to be best representation of BMX… Not even close. I don’t think stoked is a word I’d choose. I’m stoked Hank from Tadley is involved! 

“If we’re going to have BMX in the Olympics let’s not make it a circus.”

I don’t think the actual TV event is going to directly change BMX very much one way or another. If just being a part of the Olympics brings some money to the grass roots then that’s a success in my eyes.

If the qualification events attract our best riders and end up on terrestrial TV that’d probably make way more of difference than the nine person Olympic finals.

It’d be really good if someone like Dennis Enarson ends up on TV a lot but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.”


“I’m a huge fan of anything getting BMX into the limelight and into homes of people that don’t normally get to see it, that’s a great thing for the sport. Definitely excited for it to happen, it is what BMX needs and continues to need in order to grow.

Already I can predict bigger sponsors in BMX for the airtime and hope that riders milk this for all it’s worth. The idea of that happening is great for the industry and for the riders that have been down and out for the past few years due to less and less big contests that are televised and getting into millions of homes.

“Already I can predict bigger sponsors in BMX for the airtime and hope that riders milk this for all it’s worth.”

Hopefully they do backstories on the riders and present the park riders in a proper light too.  I know park riding in general these days looks very acrobatic and hope that portrays well for the Olympic setting.”


“From a mainstream standpoint I think it can get more eyes on BMX and possibly help with access to skateparks, which is still a huge problem in the states.

From a core standpoint it does not do much, especially since they’re working with FISE and that niche of the sport, wooden ramps etc… There is a ton of behind the scenes politics, but hopefully the powers that be can agree and create a cool event…”


“I see both sides of it. I think it’s great to put BMX on a platform like that, but I just think we need to be careful about the way that it’s projected. 

You know, it’s not like first across the finish line, it’s a judged event. I think it’s gonna be good for those kids who are into competing to get to be there at the pinnacle of international sport.

As long as we go into it and try to represent freestyle BMX as best as possible, I think it’s gonna be great.”



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