everything you need to know about this sport

everything you need to know about this sport

In infrastructures installed at Place de la Concorde, discover this spectacular adrenaline-filled sport for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Rules, origins of this sport, champions and lexicon: immerse yourself in the world of BMX Freestyle.

What is the origin of BMX Freestyle at the Olympics?

Even if BMX has been a regular resident of the Olympic Games for several editions, the BMX Freestyle is still a novice. Introduced for the first time to the forefront during the last Tokyo Olympics in 2021, this competition will take place for the second time in its history in Paris.

It was in the 2010s that this sport, which emerged in the 1970s in California, took on real importance, with the creation of the first world championship in 2016 during the International Extreme Sports Festival.

Then, it was in 2018 during the Summer Youth Games in Buenos Aires, that the athletes convinced, thanks to their performances, the IOC to put this new urban discipline as the main event during the Olympic Games of Tokyo. This new sport brought a wave of freshness and additional adrenaline.

Who are the best riders and countries?

During the last Olympic Games, it was the Australian Logan Martin who won the gold medal, followed by the Venezuelan Daniel Dhers in silver and the British Declan Brooks who finished in bronze. Great Britain is doing well because among the women, Charlotte Worthington won the gold medal in this first appearance in an Olympic competition. Hannah Roberts (United States) and Nikita Ducarroz (Switzerland) completed the podium.

Since 2021, world championships have taken place and a world ranking has evolved. Australian Logan Martin leads this ranking, followed by Briton Kieran Reilly and Frenchman Anthony Jeanjean. Among the women, it is now the former silver medalist Hannah Roberts who occupies first place in this ranking followed by the two Chinese Sibei Sun and Huimin Zhou.

What are the rules of BMX Freestyle?

On the Place de La Concorde, the « riders » take turns taking turns in a park set up for the occasion. They each have two passages of 60 seconds to perform the most beautiful figures possible by linking them together. They are therefore judged on the difficulty of the figures performed, the amplitude of their jump, the style or even the creativity of their sequence. They then receive a certain number of points from the jury.

The difficulty is therefore to dare to perform tricks which can yield a good number of points, without taking too much risk either because the time allotted to complete the sequence is very short.

BMX Freestyle vocabulary

Rider : an athlete who practices BMX.
Trick : a realized figure.
Links : a sequence of figures.
Grind : a trick which consists of sliding your BMX over a guardrail, while maintaining your balance.
Bunny Hop : figure which consists of lifting both wheels off the ground.
Bar Spin : a figure where the rider rotates his handlebars 360° while in the air.
360, 540, 720… : the degree of rotation during a jump.
Transfer : moving from one ramp or module to another without returning to the ground.
Tail Whip : Spin the BMX frame around the handlebars in the air.
Back Flip : somersault while turning backwards with the BMX.
Front Flip : somersault while turning forward with the BMX.
Manual : ride balanced only on the rear wheel.
Superman : one of the most impressive figures, in the air, the rider extends his legs backwards and only holds the handlebars like a flying superhero.

Key dates to remember for the Olympics

The last tickets to be won will be played out during two Olympic Qualification Series. The first will be held in Shanghai, China from May 16 to 19 while the next will take place in Budapest, Hungary, from June 20 to 23. The events will take place at Place de la Concorde on July 30 and 31, 2024.

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