It was the second time the BMX made an appearance in the Olympic Games, and it did not disappoint the viewers. I hate to admit it but a good crash always gets me excited and when the track is fast and the competition is fierce there is always going to be those hold your breath moments.
The only negative thing about BMX is that it’s over way too soon. 40 seconds and they have crossed the line. But I guess it wouldn’t be fair to expect them to ride or as fast as hard as they do over a great distance.
The semi finals and finals of the BMX were over in a couple of hours but for some of the riders it may have felt like months. In the first heat of the men’s semi finals French rider Quentin Caleyron made an error of judgement that would take down 5 riders, thankfully no one was seriously injured and they were all ready to line up for the next heat. But that wasn’t the last of the crashes and both the girls and the boys continued to be knocked around the track like skittles.
It was the women’s final that was most surprising though, not a single favourite even managed to medal. I guess this goes to prove that with any sport nobody can possibly guess the outcome and the reason why it is so exciting to watch.
Marian Pajon of Columbia became the second Columbian female to win a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games today. I really appreciate a winner like that, one that comes out of nowhere to knock out the competition and really embrace their talent. The silver went to Sarah Walker of New Zealand and the bronze to Laura Smulders of The Netherlands.
The boy’s final, although again unpredictable did actually see two of the favourites manage to take home a medal. Maris Stromburg of Latvia successfully defended his Olympic title from Beijing in 2008. He was impressive but not so much noticeable in the quarters or semi finals, but none of that really matters when you cross that line before everybody else. Sam Willoughby was Australia’s hopeful for a medal win, although I’m pretty certain he would have preferred a different colour then the one he received. C.M Oquendo Zabala from Columbia was the surprise of the day, managing to snatch the bronze from 5 other riders all racing for a place on the podium.
The thing about the BMX that is most impressive is that most of these athletes are not yet old enough to rent a car and here they are competing at Olympic level. Once racing they are aggressive young men and woman who show no fear, tear up the track and continuously get back up and try again when they end up face down in the dirt.
They are cyclists that are capable of inspiring young boys and girls and showing them that a sport, once looked at as something that was for hooligans, is now something that gets admiration from world class athletes from around the world.
And with all these competitors young enough to continue to work on their talent we will likely see them all in Rio to once again fight for Olympic gold.