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Olympic BMX freestyle at Tokyo 2020: Top five things to know

Who are the BMX freestylers to watch at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021? When and where will Olympic BMX freestyle take place? What's the history of BMX freestyle at the Olympics? Find out here.
By Alessandro Poggi

BMX freestyle will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021, where it will bring a fresh, youthful feel to the Olympic programme.

Who are the athletes to watch? When will the competition take place? and where will it be held?

Ever wanted to know about the Olympic history of BMX cycling?

Look no further. Here is our guide to the top things to know about Olympic BMX freestyle.

Top Olympic BMX freestyle riders at Tokyo 2020

At the Tokyo Games in 2021, there will be nine male and nine female riders looking to seize their chance to make history as the first BMX freestyle Olympic gold medallist.

In the women's event, two-time world champion Hannah Roberts from the USA will be the favourite for gold.

The 19-year-old could become the youngest U.S. cycling medallist since 1912 and the first woman in her teens to win an Olympic cycling title from any country.

2018 world champion Perris Benegas and world silver medallist Angie Marino will battle it out to secure a place in team USA and join Roberts in Tokyo this summer.

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Mixed team gold medallist Lara Lessmann of Germany and GB's European champion and bronze world medallist Charlotte Worthington are also poised to challenge for a medal.

In the men's competition, Australia's Logan Martin could be one to watch: the 28-year-old is a 2-time X Games BMX Park gold medallist (2018, 2019) and won the men's BMX freestyle event at the inaugural 2017 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in Chengdu, China. Martin finished second to fellow compatriot Brandon Loupos at the 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle World Championships.

Competition will be fierce in the USA team, with Nick Bruce, Justin Dowell, and Daniel Sandoval all vying for a spot on the plane to Japan.

Japan has secured one place as host country, and 2019 overall World Cup winner Nakamura Rim will aim for a medal in front of the local crowd.

5-time X Games gold medallist and Panams champ Daniel Dhers of Venezuela, one of the trailblazers of the sport, will also be a potential contender.

Olympic BMX freestyle competition format at Tokyo 2020

At the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021, BMX freestyle cycling competitors will compete in the Park discipline which sees riders execute tricks on obstacles such as walls, box jumps, and spines.

They are given 60 seconds to perform acrobatics tricks and skills, with tricks scored on multiple aspects including difficulty, originality, execution, height, and creativity.

Olympic BMX freestyle schedule at Tokyo 2020

Competition takes place over two days, 31 July and 1 August 2021.

All times are Japan Standard Time (UTC +9 hours)

Sat 31 July 2021, 10:10 - 12:20

  • Women's Park Seeding
  • Men's Park Seeding

Sun 1 August 2021, 10:10 - 12:45

  • Women's Park Final
  • Men's Park Final

Olympic BMX freestyle venue at Tokyo 2020

The Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo will host the very first Olympic BMX freestyle contest.

The venue will also stage BMX racing and skateboarding.

Olympic BMX freestyle history

BMX racing has been on the Olympic programme since Beijing 2008, but Tokyo 2020 will mark the first ever appearance of BMX freestyle at the OIympic Games.

The event was officially added in the Olympic programme after a decision of the IOC Executive Board in June 2017.

BMX Park made an appearance at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and 24 athletes (six more than in Tokyo, 12 men and 12 women) will take part in the Paris 2024 Games.