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Olympic Spotlight to Shine on BMX

August 16, 2003|Mike Bresnahan

It would have been nothing more than a punch line a few years ago, the suggestion that BMX racing could be an Olympic sport.

Then the International Olympic Committee released a statement six weeks ago in which IOC President Jacques Rogge referred to BMX as a "new, spectacular event."

And, oh yes, Rogge added, BMX will be an official sport at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

In an effort by the IOC to appeal to a younger audience, men's and women's BMX races will replace two undetermined cycling competitions at Beijing.

The addition of BMX racing, also known as bike motocross, is comparable to the addition of snowboarding at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

The governing body of BMX racing, the American Bicycle Assn., responded to the IOC's decision with enthusiasm and relief.

"The recognition that we've wanted to get for years will finally be coming our way now," said ABA President Clayton John. "I think this will help validate us. It's a chance to show that BMX is an actual sport."

-- Mike Bresnahan

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