Hannah Roberts is more than an Olympic athlete pushing for gold in Tokyo, she’s an ambassador on a mission to influence more young girls to take up extreme sports. Now, in her first games, Roberts represents USA’s best chance at gold in the inaugural BMX competition, and hot off another world championship she’s ready to ascend.
BMX runs in the family. Taking up trick riding at the age of eight, Robert was mentored by her cousin Brett Banasiewicz, a champion in his own right, with dozens of tour wins before retiring due to injury in 2012.
Roberts showed a natural gift for the sport, competing and winning from the age of 12. In 2017, at the age of 15, Roberts traveled to China where she won gold at the Urban Cycling World Championships in Chengdu. Ever since she’s been one of the best riders in the world, and despite being just 19 years old, continues to win national championships.
What will BMX look like at the Olympic games?
This isn’t the first time BMX has been at an Olympic games, but the format is very different. Moving away from the racing structure that appeared in Tokyo in 2008, the addition of freestyle park is being added to rejuvenate the sport with more youth-focused extreme sport elements.
Athletes will compete in two minute “runs” on an organized park, where competitors are free to pull off as many impressive tricks as possible. Scoring will be based on amplitude (height of elements), degree of difficulty on tricks, as well as the overall flow of the run, and how well these elements are chained together.
How to watch Hannah Roberts in Tokyo
- Seeding: Friday, July 30 at 9:10 p.m. ET
- Finals: Saturday, July 31 at 9:10 p.m. ET