A major World Cup event is taking place in Australia for the first time and it should go down in history in more ways than one.
- Natalya Diehm says men and women will be paid equally for first time at event
- Champion driver Logan Martin says he can’t wait to compete at home
- The event will likely serve as an Olympic qualifier and will be held alongside a music festival
In December, a stage of the BMX Freestyle World Cup will be held on the Gold Coast and will probably become a qualifying event for the Paris Olympics in 2024.
The Urban Sport Fest will bring 150 of the world’s best freestyle BMX riders to the coast, alongside a music festival to be held at Carrara Stadium.
Queensland-born Natalya Diehm said it would be the first time women have been offered the same prize money as men in sport.
She said that previously prize money for competitions in overseas countries did not even cover the cost of flights, so world-class winners were left out.
“It’s amazing,” Diehm said.
“We girls worked very hard to get equal pay.
“There’s a lot of travel, a lot of cost involved – so yeah, usually the travel costs are more than the prize money for events.
A win for Queensland
Gladstone-born Diehm said her road to the world stage began when she was at school.
“I was riding my bike to school with some friends and I’d take a two-minute detour to where the skate park was, and all the boys were skating and I was like, ‘I’ll give it a try’ “, she said.
“Since that afternoon, I’ve been there every day after school, every weekend, so I’ve stuck with that.
“I’m based on the Gold Coast now because that’s where all the training facilities are.
“I only started competing in 2019 and since then everything has been overseas so no one in my family has been able to watch me compete.
“So it’s going to be really special.
World number one BMX freestyler and Gold Coast local Logan Martin says there has never been anything quite like the event in Australia.
“‘I’ve been at these events for about nine years,’ he said.
“A lot in Europe, everywhere in France, in China, but the first time in Australia.
“I am extremely excited that the event is taking place here, 15 minutes from my home.
The event will take place from December 9 to 11.