With BMX freestyle making its Olympic debut, meet world champ Logan Martin

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 05: BMX rider Logan Martin poses for a portrait at Elanora Skatepark on September 05, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 05: BMX rider Logan Martin poses for a portrait at Elanora Skatepark on September 05, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The Australian built a personal ramp park in the backyard of his home in Australia to get ready for the Games. Learn more about the colourful father. 

If you can't find a training centre - build one in your own backyard?

That was the solution for world champion cycling BMX freestyler Logan Martin in 2019, when the Australian constructed a personal ramp park at his Queensland home.

Martin is one of the stars set to start on Saturday (31 July) as BMX freestyle park makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

What is cycling BMX freestyle park? It's a "spectacular discipline where the riders perform routines which consist of sequences of executing tricks... with riders judged on quality of their performance (difficulty, originality and style)," according to the sport's governing body, UCI.

And who is Logan Martin? He's a three-time world and X Games champion who is now eying Olympic gold.

Find out more about the Aussie below.

New events and disciplines added to Tokyo 2020 Olympic sports programme!

15 new gold medals will be awarded at the next Olympics, for 3x3 basketball, BMX freestyle, and mixed-gender events, boosting equality.

First-time world champ in BMX freestyle

With BMX freestyle confirmed to make its debut at Tokyo 2020, Martin scored early victories - in both the first-ever World Cup for the event in 2016, as well as the 2017 world championships.

"It’s just huge to get this first world champion’s jersey," he said after the win at the UCI Urban worlds in Chengdu, China.

He set the standard high, and has since maintained it through adversity, winning another world title earlier this year, while capturing three X Games gold medals.

That came amidst a collarbone surgery in March 2018, as well as an ankle injury that caused him to miss the worlds.

Bringing training to his backyard in Australia

Why not bring training home if you can? That's what Martin did in 2019, spending thousands of his own dollars to create a ramp park at his home in Gold Coast, Australia.

"I've had to build this because there's not so much for me to practice on around the Gold Coast and around Brisbane," he told Australia's ABC . "I've wanted to build a park in my backyard for so long, after years of not having a proper place to practise big tricks and keep improving. Finally, I have a place to progress and learn new tricks again because I built big ramps to replicate international competition sizes."

It took weeks to build the customised park, with Martin using a local carpenter to help.

While some neighbours are unhappy with the build, Martin plans to turn the space into a tennis court when he retires.

And - no foam pits needed for Martin, who says he doesn't train his tricks with foam pits. Why?

"I have enough air awareness and control on my bike to be comfortable enough to do most things on a resi [rubber mat]," he said in a 2019 interview. "When I learn new tricks on the resi, I practise them enough on there that when I need to do it on something real, it feels comfortable anyway. I do all of my tricks every day on real ramps anyway."

All in the family for Martin

At 27 years old, Martin has stayed local in Queensland, making a home near to where he was born - in the town of... you guessed it, Logan. He began riding when he was 13, having played rugby league as a kid.

He and his wife, Kim, have a son, Noah, who was born in 2019.

"My son being born is the best day ever," he said.

A second child is on the way, Martin shared with his nearly 400,000 Instagram followers earlier this month.

Martin details the issues the family faced in conceiving a second child - as well as many other adventures in BMX and beyond - on his personal YouTube page , which has another 20,000 subscribers.

Body as art

And - if you haven't noticed - Martin is rocking a tattoo or two. Actually, a whole body of them.

"Tattooing is very big in my family," he said in a video diary. "When I started getting tattoos, I didn't plan to get a full body suit - I just kept going. I did my upper body and figured I couldn't leave my legs."

In a five-year span, Martin got his entire body tattooed. The amount of time with needle on skin? "132 hours," he says.