How the BMX headquarters will foster the next generation of athletes

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa is now the official home of USA BMX. Members of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Team USA spoke with Fox23. The sport’s growing popularity includes increased participation among girls and women.

19-year old Olympian Payton Ridenour demonstrated what tackling the hills is like in this new facility.

“The facility is awesome,” she said, “I was here in November and it was only about half finished and to see everything come together is really cool.”

Ridenour says women and girls have come a long way since BMX was first introduced at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

“A lot more women have joined the sport,” she noted. “And we push each other to be better version of ourselves.”

Her Olympic teammate Felicia Stancil knows all about pushing herself, she placed first at the Grand Nationals in Tulsa in November.

“I’m obsessed with the process of training and just getting better every day, " she explained.

The starting ramp is 8 meters high, and riders can accelerate to speeds of about 45 miles an hour.

Stancil says it’s a forty second race, with no time to relax.

Beginners and children start with a much smaller starting ramp.

Nine-year old rider Daniel Bendure said he was excited to try out the new track:

“It’s fun,” he said, “I got one warmup lap, I’m really excited to ride it.”

USA BMX’s Chief Strategy Officer John David says part of the attraction to the growing youth sport is that there’ s a place for everyone, no matter what your age or skill level.

USA BMX will host major racing events at the new facility, in addition to offering opportunities to come out and learn the sport as a beginner.