Apparently it’s a done deal. The Union Cyclist Internationale, the international governing body that runs regular cycling sports, has agreed terms with the Olympic Committee and hence freestyle/park will be an official sport in the upcoming 2020 Olympics, a mere three years from now. RideUK sat down a few guys at FISE Marseille for their feedback – the guys in this video could certainly be throwing on their country colours come Tokyo 2020 and going for gold all over a big park course, so no doubt these guys are positive about being involved. Interestingly it was at this year’s FISE that the Olympics was confirmed.
Obviously, BMX Racing is a well established Olympic sport and has radically changed how racing is perceived and run and the very tracks that we ride. Another subject for another day.
Also note that UCI apparently bypassed the IBMXFF to get freestyle in the Games – the IBMXFF is the association headed by Mat Hoffman, Dennis McCoy, Joe Rich and co, and they run the World Championships (this year it’s back at NASS) and helps with events such as Vans Pro Cup and X Games, among others. Check out this statement from Mat:
Statement from Mat Hoffman / IBMXFF
The International BMX Freestyle Federation (IBMXFF) is the worldwide governing body for BMX Freestyle, formed by individuals who have shaped BMX Freestyle for decades. It was established to protect and maintain BMX Freestyle’s lifestyle and culture with authenticity and integrity.
Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body for cycling disciplines unrelated to BMX Freestyle, announced that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has agreed to add BMX Freestyle Park to the Programme of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The announcement was made without the involvement of the IBMXFF. We have confidence that the IOC’s goal of adapting and further strengthening the principles of good governance and ethics to changing demands will lead to the direct involvement of the IBMXFF in the planning and decision-making for the BMX Freestyle Park event in Tokyo.
Skateboarding being made into an Olympic sport has basically kicked a massive hornets’ nest in the skate community and thrown up questions, opinions, and issues about the Games (which is desperate for new, youth action sports) and competitive skateboarding – check this article by Jenkem, or this one. The same will happen with freestyle. Watch this space.
In case you had no idea what skatepark contests were about, UCI have created this handy guide…