Not that BMX needs any revitalisation, here’s a video of the final heat in the men’s division for the World Championships held in South Africa at the end of July, 2010.
However, the new partnership between the International Cycling Union and Global SX Events Inc (GSX Events) is expected to revitalise the sport.
UCI President Pat McQuaid explains, “BMX in general and the BMX Supercross World Cup in particular, are undergoing spectacular growth, which has accelerated since their Olympic baptism in Beijing in 2008. The UCI has invested considerably in the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup to bring it up to its current level, but I am convinced that the partnership that will now link the UCI and Global SX Events will allow BMX to continue its growth in optimal conditions: still under the aegis of the UCI, but making the most of GSX Events’ skills.”
Dates for next years’ events are as follows:
The 2011 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup calendar:
8-9 April Pietermaritzburg (RSA)
27-28 May Papendal (NED)
19-29 August London (GBR)
16-19 September – to be confirmed –
30 September-1 October Chula Vista (USA)
Many people groan that BMXs are for kids and grown men should pick on a bike their own size, or can the sport of BMX really be considered extreme?
Sifiso Nhlapo, popularly known as Skizo, is a home-grown South Africa favourite, but I draw your attention to him in particular because of his latest achievements.
Skizo is an example of the dangers and pitfalls of a sport of this nature.
South Africa’s Sifiso Nhlapo
While still in high school, his career took flight and, at the age of 16, Sifiso went from being a BMX racer to a ‘Pro BMX racer’. At first, his professional status was limited to South Africa, but it only took another three years before he was ripping up tracks on the international pro circuit.
“I was planning on being a real estate agent, but that all changed, once I realised I could be a pro BMX racer,” says Soweto born Sifiso.
“It was a long road with a lot of sacrifice. Hard at times, but it all paid off in the long run,” he smiles.
By the age of 21, Sifiso had already made a name for himself and has an impressive resumé to go with it. “I would like to win a couple more titles leading up to the next Olympic Games in 2012 in London, and just hope to stay safe till then.”
Catastrophically a few months later on the 22nd June 2009 he had a serious accident and fractured two vertebrae in his neck which required immediate emergency surgery.
End of career you would suppose…
But no such thing. Sifiso was out of action for 6 months but was back in the saddle as soon as the doctors would allow. In July 2010 he proved he was back in the running when he came fifth at the Mid West Nationals in Illinois.
At at the UCI BMX World Championships held at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg at the end of July, Sifiso, to the delight of the home crowd, proved that nothing could keep a good man down by coming second in the overall championships.
With 15 sponsors, including MTN, Red Bull (but of course), Citroen, Oakley and Bonitas backing him and a successful career under his belt, Sifiso is acquiring properties. For the man who once wanted to be an estate agent, and despite a crash that would have stopped most people from racing… life is pretty good!