Greater Athens January 2022 - Page 36

challenge and is not afraid to step up and face whatever challenge is given to him . Regardless of where this sport takes us , he is always giving his very best .”
Competing is not limited to children , Austin started at four years old , but their oldest BMX rider is in their 70s . Jennifer said the support and camaraderie contribute to their love and enjoyment of the sport .
BMX originated in the 1970s when kids in Southern California started racing their bicycles on dirt tracks inspired by motocross . By 1977 , George Esser founded the National Bicycle League after his sons , who were participants in motocross ,
enjoyed BMX with their friends .
This seems to be a common theme among the BMX family , although it is competitive , they are very supportive of each other and it is a family affair .
Children have talents and passions , just like adults , that parents have to help them find and nurture . The Griffiths have done this for Austin and regardless of where BMX takes him , the life lessons and enjoyment the sports brings them all has been a journey worth taking .
When Austin is not riding bikes he is an active studen in Malakoff . he plays football and baseball , loves
his school and shows up to events independant , self-sponsored .
“ Austin doesn ’ t quit , he is known as the comeback kid , a name he earned with a broken pedal still pushing ahead of the other riders at nationals ,” said Griffith .
Austin made it to the World Cup Olympic Trial Qualifier March 2020 , which was canceled due to Covid . He currently rides Alicia Stancils hand-medown bike frame . She is the only one from the US riders to podium in the 2021 Olympics .
According to USA Cycling , this is a sport for the entire family . Participants have to train for extreme leg
strength , much like a 100m sprinter , they also need upper body strength to accommodate holding onto their bike . They race and jump with helmets and gloves .
The International BMX Federation was founded in 1981 and was officially recognized by the International Cycling Union in 1993 .
BMXT made its Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games , providing a platform for BMX to gain exposure and recognition .
If you would like to learn more about BMX , visit USA BMX where you can learn more about the sport , events , competitions and nearby tracks at www . usabmx . com / site / sections / 3
36 Greater Athens Magazine | January 2022