By Chris Wright, News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The Super Bowl of BMX bike racing wrapped up Sunday afternoon at the QuikTrip Center.
The Grand Nationals is always big in the world of BMX, but organizers say it's generating more attention this year.
The Grand Nationals have been held in Tulsa for more than a decade now. But this is the first time the sport's best have come to town since BMX became an Olympic sport.
Many of the riders flying over the dirt hills Sunday were just kids, some under 10-years-old.
The American Bicycle Association, which runs the Grand Nationals, says more kids are taking an interest in BMX. More than 3,000 riders of all ages took part in this year's event.
The ABA says that's a five percent increase over last year, and it credits the success to BMX's debut at the Beijing Olympics.
"The kids have seen it on TV, saw it on NBC during the Olympics, it's just been outstanding," said ABA Director John David.
Several Olympians were also in town for the four day event, including both the silver and bronze medalists.
"It's my first ABA race since the Olympics, and it's definitely cool to know that all these kids want to know about it and hear about it, it's a pretty cool thing," said Olympic Silver Medalist Mike Day.
"Our goal is just to keep promoting the sport, showing parents and kids how great the sport is, and now that you can take it to the Olympics, I think it will go far," said Olympic Bronze Medalist Donny Robinson.
Both Day and Robinson have spent their Thanksgiving weekends in Tulsa for the past decade. They say they've enjoyed watching the Grand Nationals grow, and with the added exposure, look forward to the future of BMX.
"More kids racing is definitely going to help the sport, and the littler the better," said Day.
The ABA will be returning to Tulsa for at least the next few years. The Grand Nationals will be held at the QuikTrip Center until at least 2014.