Olympic Fever

August 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm 3 comments

So, the Olympics have come and gone, and it seems that my moment of relevance has passed with it. As the BMX contributor to this blog I should have been cranking out the posts, but alas I was not to be found on the internet that week, and it wasn’t because Chinese censors had revoked my world wide web passport. I was building a new bike this last week, so I will use that as my excuse.

I did, however watch the olympics and thoroughly enjoyed the BMX coverage. Having some insight of my own on the sport made me realize that the coverage of all olympic sports is probably riddled with errors. I think I heard someone say that E.T. invented BMX.

Not true. The answer to the standing question as to whether clipless pedals make BMX racing uncool (posed here) is: yes. Well, yes clipless pedals do differentiate the current crop of BMX racers from both their racing ancestors and modern day freestyle counterparts. But it isn’t limited to that. What makes the attire of freestyle BMX appealing is that you could conceivable hop off your bike and walk into a bar or restaurant relatively unnoticed, whereas if you were a racer you would look like a pointy toed astronaut with your full race leathers, goggles and fullface helmet.

I think BMX racing has found a nice home at the Olympics. The athletes train incredibly hard and generate excitement from the spectators that synchronized diving or curling just can’t muster. BMX racing is the root of all things BMX, and also a doorstep to the wider world of cycling. Two of the women’s podium finishers are world champions mountain bikers by day, and many BMX world Champions have gone on to dominate mountain biking and even velodrome racing.

If you are interested in the history of BMX I can highly recommend the documentary JOE KID ON A STINGRAY, which premiered at the Bicycle Film Festival a few years back. And if a documentary about little kid’s bikes sounds dry than try to find a copy of RAD,the BMX feature film that debuted in 1982 and should come with the purchase of any new bicycle of any kind. It’s so cheesy you could put it on your macaroni.

And if you interested in the future of BMX stay glued to your TV, (great thevillagebicycle advice, right?) cause we are only four years away from the next really big race. (Actually if anyone is interested in BMX racing I encourage them to look up their local BMX track here).

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kristinaurorasmith  |  August 28, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Interesting article, but I can’t help wondering if BMX belongs in the Olympics. Isn’t that what the X-games are for? The IOC is taking softball out for God’s sake, but putting BMX in. What do you think of that?

    Reply
  • 2. littlebikes  |  August 28, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Yeah, I too was sad to see softball go, but I do agree with the IOC that there should be an emphasis on sports which provide competitive opportunities for multiple nations. Although, Japan did beat the U.S. in softball, so that sort of threw a wrench in their gears.
    The X games are a problem all their own in my book, they are a modern day circus act and couldn’t be more out of touch with the sports they showcase.
    The BMX competitors have transformed their lives to pursue excellence in an activity which doesn’t provide much notoriety or financial gain. I think that is sport at its purest and it is definitely deserving of a spot in the olympics.

    Reply
  • 3. kristinaurorasmith  |  August 29, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Well put! I think the Olympics lineup is way too full. I think it should go back to the old ways–sports for which there is no professional league, Basketball should go. Make it amateur like the good old days.

    Reply

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