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Why is BMX an Olympic Sport?

Posted Aug 13 2012 3:00am

I made a joke on Saturday, I said:

If BMX is an Olympic sport… Why not Hopscotch and Miniature Golf?

I posted it on Twitter and it brought several  immediate responses, one which said:

Why not BMX? It’s a shitload more exciting than synchronized swimming or rhythmic gymnastics.

Well I’ll give you that; but if excitement from a spectators point of view was the only criteria for an Olympic sport then a whole lot of other legitimate sports would be excluded, like archery, the shot put, etc, etc.

And don’t get me wrong, I am 100% for kids riding BMX bikes or any kind of bike for that matter. I understand that Mark Cavendish was introduced to cycling via BMX competition as a kid; that is great.

However, I am sorry; if you can’t laugh at the absurdity of adult men and women dressed like motor-cyclists, racing downhill on children’s bicycles, then we don’t share the same sense of humor.

BMX stands for Bicycle Moto Cross, it is a game for children pretending to be motor cyclists; nothing wrong with that, children at play pretend to be all kinds of things.

However, when the child becomes an adult one would expect them to either get a motorcycle or a mountain bike. Moto-Cross, Mountain Bike racing, or some other form of bicycle competition would seem to be a natural progression from adolescence to adulthood.

I am not against the principal of having adult BMX racing in the Olympics, but the fact that they are still riding children’s size bikes and are dressed in full motorcycle protection is the part I can’t understand.

They are still children pretending to be moto-cross riders. Can anyone give me a legitimate reason for this? Why can they not ride adult size bikes? All competitors could still have the same size wheels and gearing.

Why can they not dress in clothes more appropriate for an athletic effort, like shorts? They could still wear a helmet (Without the face shield.) Road bike riders go down mountains at 50mph plus without face shields, knee and elbow pads.

The fact that BMX riders are wearing motorcycle style outfits, tells me that they are not making a full out athletic effort; or rather their effort is being restricted by the clothing, which is why they are racing downhill.

Don’t tell me that BMXers need all that protection; mountain bike racers don’t use it. I have seen people on BMX bikes jump off high walls and small buildings wearing nothing more than baggy shorts and a tee shirt.

This is my point; look at the picture on the right, compare it to the picture at the top.

Tell me if BMX is trying to emulate Motocross; all the way down to the oval number plate between the handlebars.

So what is BMX; a legitimate athletic sport, or a game of charades? Compared to all the other cycling disciplines BMX is a joke, and pales by comparison, and yet it in the Olympics when Cyclo-Cross, a sport that has been in existence for over 70 years has yet to be included.

Events like the Individual Pursuit have been dropped from the Games; an event that is the purist test of athletic ability.

Okay, so pursuit racing may not be exciting as a spectator sport, (Although a close race can be.) but isn’t the Olympics mostly about the athletes and their athletic prowess? At least I thought it was.



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