Olympic Freestyle BMX Explained - Part 3: Competitors & Qualification
July 26, 20213 min read
The Olympics is very different to most other events in that you can't just enter because you feel like it. In fact, it's not even about individual competitor so much - it's about different Nations getting spots and competing on the medal tally.
How Do Nations Qualify?
The Olympic Freestyle BMX Competition consists of a Mens & Womens category. In each category, there are 9 athletes from 8 different nations competing. Each Nation had to qualify their spot over the last 2 years by competition and earning points at the World Championships & World Tour Events run by the UCI. Your nations points are the sum of your top two athletes individual points during the period.
The qualification process is pretty long, but here are the basics:
The Olympic Host Nation automatically gets 1x spot in both categories - so Japan is in.
The top ranked nation on UCI Points during the qualification period gets 2x athlete spots.
The next 4 ranked nations get 1 spot each
the last 2x spots are based on World Championship Results - and ensure that smaller nations that only have 1 great rider can still qualify (which would be impossible on points as they need to make up double on the big nations). The last 2x spots go to the highest ranked nations at the World Championships - who haven’t already qualified.
The Qualification process was intense, and the competition for spots was fierce. We’re going to write another story about Australia’s journey through this process in more detail soon.
The qualification process included international events, and domestic events - like the Freestyle BMX Nationals at RampFest.
Once your nation has earned their spots, it's very much up to their own Olympic Committee and sporting bodies to pick the athletes to compete. Some nations, such as the USA, have their own internal "points" ranking system - and you get picked by sitting on top of that.
Other nations use World Championships Results or Trial Event results for athletes to earn their spot. And then, countries like Australia have an internal selection process, where a panel of selectors picks the team based on a list of criteria.
Which Freestyle BMX Riders are Competing at the Olympics?
After all the qualification is done, and the nations have chosen their teams, here are the 18x Athletes who will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics:
Mens Freestyle BMX Competitors:
Logan Martin (Australia)
Rimu Nakamura (Japan)
Nick Bruce (USA)
Justin Dowell (USA)
Declan Brooks (Great Britain)
Irek Rizaev (Russian Olympic Committee)
Kenneth Fabian Tencio Esquivel (Costa Rica)
Anthony Jeanjean (France)
Daniel Dhers (Venezuela)
Womens Freestyle BMX Competitors:
Hannah Roberts (USA)
Perris Benegas (USA)
Charlotte Worthington (Great Britain)
Nikita Ducarroz (Switzerland)
Lara Marie Lessmann (Germany)
Macarena Valentina Perez Grasset (Chile)
Natalya Diehm (Australia)
Minato Oike (Japan)
Elizaveta Posadkikh (Russian Olympic Committee)
Good Luck to all the competitors... but we're going to be cheering on our Aussies to bring home the GOLD!