There are so many theories about BMX that are often confusing. Some say BMX is a bike brand, and others, it’s a cycling event. Some think it’s a sport. So, is BMX a sport?
BMX is an internationally recognized sport by the International Olympics Committee (IOC). Furthermore, BMX riding lives up to the definition of sport as depicted by the Cambridge Dictionary, Dictionary.com, and Wikipedia.
But remember, the IOC only recently recognized BMX, and it’s available in two classes; BMX racing and freestyle BMX. So, I’ll help you understand the two classes to decide what line to pursue.
But first, let’s define the term sport and then relate it to the term BMX. For your information, BMX stands for bicycle motocross.
What is a Sport?
According to Wikipedia, the term sport refers to ‘any competitive game or physical activity whose objective is to enhance your physical skill while offering you enjoyment and in some cases fun for the spectators.’
And according to the Cambridge Dictionary, a sport is a competition, game, or activity that requires skill and physical effort but follows a set of rules.’ The Cambridge Dictionary further mentions that ‘a sport offers enjoyment and can serve as a job for the participant.’
But according to Dictionary.com, a sport is an athletic activity competitive in nature that requires your physical prowess or skill.’ Dictionary.com further describes sport with synonyms like amusement, game, entertainment, fun, and recreation.
What is BMX?
This is the BMX definition according to Dictionary.com:
‘BMX is a bicycle used to perform stunts and for recreational riding.
Dictionary.com goes further to describe BMX (or Bike/Bicycle Motocross) as a type of bicycle race performed on challenging cross-country (XC) courses, characterized by obstacles, high jumps, and turns.’
Meanwhile, Wikipedia pages define BMX as ‘a cycle sport done with BMX bicycles either for freestyling (stunts) or racing).’
So, is BMX a Sport?
From the above BMX bike definition, it’s clear that a sport is a fun physical activity that requires skill to execute and often entertains. Well, that’s what BMX is all about, and both Wikipedia and Dictionary.com agree.
BMX is a competitive game that enhances your physical skill and entertains, just like Wikipedia defines the word sport.
And like the Cambridge Dictionary puts it, BMX not only promises fun and the enhancement of your physical ability but also follows a set of rules.
Some rules govern BMX riding, unlike other biking disciplines. For example, BMX bikes have specific load capacities and require riding them on particular tracks.
Lastly, BMX lives up to the definition of the term sport by Dictionary.com. Like Dictionary.com puts it, BMX is competitive in nature and calls for your physical prowess.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Recognition
Did you know that BMX is now an Olympic event? That’s right, BMX freestyle is now officially an Olympic event. It was formerly promulgated during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, staged in 2021 following postponement due to Covid 19.
Though BMX freestyle dates to the 1970s, the IOC only decided to add it to the Olympics in 2020 as an Olympic sport.
While freestyle BMX was only introduced into the Olympics in 2020, BMX racing, a competitive off-road race by BMX, was introduced in 2008.
So, you could argue that IOC has recognized BMX, particularly BMX racing, as a sport since 2008.
Benefits of BMX (Why You Should Get a BMX Bike)
Like every other competition, BMX riding comes with these advantages:
- Heart Health – BMX riding is an excellent cardio exercise that improves your circulation and general heart health.
- Muscle Buildup – BMX cycling engages your muscles, more so those of your lower body, making them stronger and more enduring.
- Weight Trimmer – BMX riding is a high-intensity routine that you can use to torch extra calories from your body. Simply put, BMX biking can help you get into shape.
- Mental Health – BMX riding is not just good for your heart and physical health but your mental wellbeing as well. The more you ride a BMX, the less stress you get.
- Entertainment – I remember defining BMX as a fun activity. By riding it and doing stunts and jumps, you become excited about it, and that’s fulfilling. And if you do it for competition, then you also entertain others.
- Resilience – BMX biking is never easy. You have to press on and tirelessly try new moves. In the long run, that improves your resilience.
- Creativity – Lastly, BMX riding makes you creative, and you need that for any competitive sport. You get to think on your feet with BMX whenever you face challenging obstacles.
Interested in BMX riding? Find your best BMX bike on Amazon! Or better, get the Mongoose Legion BMX (Check on Amazon), which is available in 7 frame sizes to suit kids and adults. It’s ride-friendly and suits both beginners and advanced freestylers.
BMX racing refers to a BMX genre where the rider sprints, mainly for competition. This form of BMX is widespread across all ages and is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (ICU).
Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, BMX racing has been recognized as an Olympics sport.
While BMX racing is all about sprinting and fast riding, BMX freestyle is about stunts. BMX freestyle is an extreme sport involving tricks on the streets, parks, flatlands, and trails.
The IOC only recognized freestyle BMX during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The History of BMX
BMX dates back to 1970 when Southern California kids got inspired by the Schwinn Stingray Chopper bike. In 1974, American biking enthusiast George Esser founded a non-profit BMX sanctioning organization known as the National Bicycle League (NBL).
NBL collaborated with the American Motocross Association (AMA) to sanction motocross races in Florida.
The American Bicycle Association (ABA) was founded to succeed the AMA, and 1981 saw the founding of the International BMX Federation, which pushed for the integration of BMX into the ICU.
In 2003, the IOC announced that BMX racing would be part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and it has been so ever since.
The first Olympians to win a BMX race at the Olympics were Anne-Caroline Clauson (French) and Maris Stromberg (Latvian).
Is BMX Riding Safe?
BMX riding can be unsafe if you attempt risky maneuvers without proper gears. That includes a helmet, riding boots, strong pants, and a jacket.
You can find all these BMX cycling gears on Amazon!
Are BMX Bikes Bad For You?
Though BMX is often risky when riding without safety gear, it’s overall a good exercise for your heart, mental health, and muscle building. Additionally, regular BMX riding builds resilience and creativity, thus good for your wellbeing.
People Also Ask
1. Is BMX Racing A Sport?
BMX is a racing sport. It was officially recognized at the 2008 Olympics as a racing sport and has been so ever since. Note, however, that you can only race on designated tracks and not just any road.
2. Is BMX A Dying Sport?
BMX is not a dying sport. Quite the contrary, its popularity is growing globally. Today, BMX is a feature event at the Olympics, and that shows that the cycling sport has been experiencing an upward trajectory since its first reveal in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics.
3. Is BMX A Dangerous Sport?
BMX riding involves many stunts and jumps, making it a dangerous sport. However, you can stay safe by wearing the right bike gear. That’s more important if you plan to try out risky maneuvers.
4. Is Freestyle BMX A Sport?
Yes, freestyle BMX is a sport. The IOC first recognized it in 2017 and officially launched it during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. For that reason, you can prepare for the Olympics if you are good with freestyle BMX.
5. Is BMX A Contact Sport?
Yes, BMX is a contact sport, but usually, riders are not allowed to collide with others intentionally. Because of that, most people assume it’s a non-contact sport when it’s not.
6. Is BMX An Extreme Sport?
Not all BMX events are extreme. Between BMX racing and BMX freestyle, the latter is an extreme activity as it involves fast and rough riding.
It also involves doing dangerous stunts, which could cause injuries. So, if you intend to ride a freestyle BMX, you should wear protective clothing.
7. Is BMX An Expensive Sport?
BMX is not expensive. Nowadays, you can get a decent BMX for under $500, thus more affordable than most bikes. Its gears are also affordable, and so are the accessories.
8. Can You Race A Freestyle BMX?
Though you can ride a freestyle BMX fast, it’s not the best for racing. Essentially, that’s because its frame is slightly heavy, and you need a lighter option to race either for fun or competition.
9. Is BMX An Olympic Sport?
Yes, BMX is an Olympic sport. BMX racing has been an Olympic event since the 2008 Olympics, while the IOC also recognized BMX freestyle in 2017 and staged it at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. So, you can now compete at the Olympics with BMX.
10. Why Is BMX A Sport?
BMX is a sport because it’s physically involving and promises enjoyment to the riders and spectators. Moreover, BMX has rules that govern the discipline, just like any other sport.
Is BMX A Sport? Closing Thought:
Generally, BMX is a cycling sport that the International Olympic Committee recognizes. Thus, you can cycle for fun, exercising, or completion at a world event like the Olympics with BMX. And the best part is that both adults and kids can ride BMX bikes for the mentioned reasons!