In exciting news for all BMX Freestyle riders, supporters and fans, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced late last week that BMX Freestyle Park will be added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The move comes as part of the IOC’s efforts to modernise the games and draw a more youthful audience. BMX Freestyle is one of the multiple new additions to the Games, which includes sports such as 3×3 Basketball, surfing and sport climbing.
The addition of BMX Freestyle will see both male and female elite competitors battle it out in an exhilarating and fast paced event where a rider’s performance will be judged on overall impression including, but not limited to: Difficulty, height, originality, style, consistency, variety of tricks, bike control, landings, use of the course and execution.
In total there will be nine male and female athlete positions allocated for Tokyo across all eligible countries.
The allocation of equal men and women’s positions in BMX Freestyle also continues the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) strategy to promote women’s cycling and the IOC’s ‘Agenda 2020’. As a part of this strategy, BMX Racing will also see changes made, with the allocation for male competitors at the Olympics dropped from 32 to 24 for Tokyo. In line with this, there will also be 24 female competitors, up from the 16 positions allocated in Beijing, London and Rio.
It isn’t just BMX that is seeing changes in athlete numbers. Changes made across the board by the IOC will see the total number of athletes in Tokyo reduced by 285 compared to Rio 2016. Despite the reductions, the Tokyo 2020 Games itself will see female athlete representation spiking to 48.8 per cent.
IOC chief executive Thomas Bach has expressed his delight at the new face of the Olympics.
“I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women,” Bach said.
Meanwhile UCI President Brian Cookson is excited to see what the Toyko 2020 Olympic Games could mean for the future of cycling disciplines.
“I am thrilled to see four more cycling events joining the Olympic programme. With competitions across very different disciplines, cycling already makes a large and diverse contribution to the Olympic Games, and now becomes the third largest sport in terms of gold medals,” Cookson said.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be a ground breaking opportunity for the sport of BMX Freestyle, and will highlight the growing appetite for action sports at the world’s oldest and largest multi-sport event.
What do you think about the addition of BMX Freestyle and moves towards gender equity at the Olympic Games? Share your views by emailing BMX Australia: firstname.lastname@example.org