Worldsport

BMX at the Olympic Games

Updated 9:05 AM ET, Fri February 10, 2012
Share
1 of 8
British BMX racer Shanaze Reade is heading into London 2012 as one of the favorites to claim gold. The 23-year-old is a three-time world champion in the sport, which is entering only its second Olympic Games. Getty Images
As well as being an accomplished BMX rider, Reade has also won track cycling world titles. In 2007 and 2008 Reade took the team sprint world title alongside Victoria Pendleton, who claimed sprint cycling gold in Beijing. Getty Images
Reade contemplated turning her back on competitive sport after a disastrous BMX final at Beijing 2008. She missed out on a medal in the event's inaugural Games after crashing in the deciding race. France's Anne-Caroline Chausson went on to win gold. Getty Images
But Reade bounced back and claimed a third world championship in 2010. She was also victorious at last year's Olympic test event in London. Getty Images
As well as tackling huge jumps, BMX racers also have to contend with bumps in the track known as a "whoop." Getty Images
The track also features steep banked corners, known as berms. This picture was taken during the men's final at the 2008 Beijing Games, where Latvia's Maris Strombergs took gold. Getty Images
Frenchman Joris Daudet is the reigning men's world champion and could claim the gold medal at his first Olympic Games, having not competed in China four years ago. Getty Images
Colombia's women's world champion Mariana Pajon will also be making her Olympic bow in London. Getty Images