The origin of BMX cycling dates back to the 1960s and 1970s, time when the most traditional versions of the sport – road and track – were already part of the Olympic Games.
BMX was inspired by MotoCross, as many young Americans admired the sport. Their wish to mimic their idols; manoeuvres, together with the lack of equipment made them start using bicycles on dirt tracks. Thus, Bicycle Moto Cross, or BMX for short was born.
Much cheaper and easier to practice than the sport that inspired its development, BMX gained popularity rapidly, particularly with young people.
In the 1970s, the first of the sport’s federation was created in the United States. In 1981, the International BMX Federation was founded. A year later, the first World Championship was held in Dayton, USA. In fact, all winners were from the USA. In 1993, the International Cycling Union (UCI) started governing the sport.
BMX events are held in heats with eight athletes each, until the final. The bicycles used by competitors have 20 inch wheels, in addition to a single gear and brakes. Athletes start from a platform around 8 meters high and have to overcome obstacles set up along the track until they cross the finish line.
BMX made its Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games, with men and women events. BMX will be part of the Olympic program for the third time come the 2016 Rio Games.