The Youth Olympics Games Happened. Watch and Try to Comprehend! 1

CLICK HERE TO WATCH if the video above doesn't work! Embedding may be disabled.

To watch specific runs, go to these times in the video - 

Women's Small Final

Eduarda Bordignon - 05:48 , 15:04

Yeinkerly Hernandez - 08:00 , 17:08

Estefanya Echeverry - 10:21 , 19:36

Nikol Prikrylova - 12:37 , 22:00

Women's Big Final

Valeriia Pinkina - 26:00 , 35:17

Kanami Tanno - 28:22 , 37:27

Agustina Roth - 30:40 , 39:52

Lara Lessmann - 32:56 , 42:08

Men's Small Final

Martin Habada - 1:10:24 , 1:19:23

Wesley Moraes - 1:12:40 , 1:21:46

Sebastian Martinez - 1:14:50 , 1:24:14

Alexander Kim - 1:17:12 , 1:26:35

Men's Big Final

Yuma Oshimo - 1:31:46 , 1:42:54

Patriks Viksna - 1:34:40 , 1:45:36

Iñaki Iriartes - 1:37:30 , 1:48:33 

Evan Brandes - 1:40:11 , 1:51:43

(Big thanks to Lazy Riding Studio on YouTube for doing the legwork here)

The Youth Olympic Games went down this past week in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the first time we saw freestyle BMX riders receive any form of Olympic medals after being added to the Olympic program a short time ago.

I've spoken out on my disappointment with the Youth Olympic Games in the past and, now that it has come and gone, my feelings haven't changed much. While the course looked solid, a lot of good riding went down, and it looks like the right riders walked away with gold, I can't help but feel a bit robbed that many of the best riders within these age constraints weren't able to compete due to technicalities. This is a solid lineup of riders, there's no doubt about that, but wouldn't it be nice to see names like Justin Dowell, Hannah Roberts, and Kieran Reilly in the mix?

Countries are limited to the amount of riders they could send across all sports. With BMX being added so late to the game - and probably also due to some unfamiliarity with the sport in general - many countries opted to not participate here. Kudos to Germany, Argentina, Japan, Latvia, Venezuela, Russia, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Brazil for getting involved and making it happen.

BMX legend Van Homan was one of the judges on hand at the Youth Olympic Games. I asked Van for a rundown of how the scoring worked because, quite frankly, I didn't understand it. The following points are notes from Van that may make this a little easier to comprehend - 

- Men and women were judged separately - just like any other contest - but those placings were combined at the end for an overall country score. The country's score would determine the official results and who walked away with medals. 

- There was a qualifying round the day before the actual event in which everyone competed. The countries who placed 5th through 8th in the qualifying round would compete in the "small final" and the countries who placed 1st through 4th would compete in the "big final."

- Both runs counted in the qualifying round. Only the best run counted in the final. 

- The "small final" was to determine which countries placed 5th through 8th. The "big final" was to determine who placed 1st through 4th. Basically, if you had a bad day in qualifying, you won't have a chance to win a medal. 

- Germany and Argentina both received gold medals due to a tie in scores. Japan won bronze.

Personally, I'm not sure why they didn't dig into the scores of individual runs to declare one country the winner. The combined score of Germany (Lara Lessmann and Evan Brandes) was higher than the combined score of Argentina (Agustina Roth and Iñaki Mazza). It would make sense to give Germany gold and Argentina silver, as opposed to having them share gold, right? I guess not...

Regardless, big congrats to all of the riders and to everyone behind-the-scenes for bringing this event to life. This is a brand new thing for both BMX and for The Olympics and it's great to see things are officially rolling.

Qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan kick off next month in Chengdu, China!

Credit: Olympic
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