OQS Paris 2024 BMX Freestyle 1130x600
Team USA

Roberts, Benegas, Christopher, and Dowell Qualify for Paris 2024 After Overall Finishes at Olympic Qualifier Series

By: Angelina Palermo  June 24, 2024

United States dominates the Olympic Qualifier Series qualifying the maximum Olympic team spots for both men and women in BMX Freestyle.

The inaugural Olympic Qualifier Series was held in Shanghai, China in May and concluded Sunday in Budapest, Hungary. The two-part series determined the athletes who will compete in BMX Freestyle, Breaking, Skateboarding, and Sport Climbing at the Paris Olympics.

For the BMX Freestyle riders, this year’s Olympic selection was predominately focused on the Olympic Qualifier Series. The goal for riders across the globe was to finish in the top six of the final rankings to earn their spot to compete in Paris. Team USA qualified the maximum allotted spots, two men, Marcus Christopher (Canton, Ohio; DK Bicycles) and Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, Va.; Hyper BMX) and two women, Hannah Roberts (Buchanan, Mich.; Hyper BMX) and Perris Benegas (Reno, Nev.; Haro BMX). At the end of the event, no other country qualified more than two riders. For other countries, the Olympic qualification process is still ongoing.

At the first event in Shanghai, all the American riders qualified for the finals, with Christopher taking first in the qualifying round. During the finals, Dowell finished sixth on the day, and Nick Bruce (Youngstown, Ohio; Huffy Bicycles) took seventh. Christopher fell in his first run then clipped a pedal on the second run putting him in eleventh. Nevertheless, all the men were on the points table, looking ahead to the next event in Budapest.

On the women’s side, the Chinese women swept the top three in qualifying and finals in Shanghai. Roberts and Benegasfinished in fourth and fifth in finals, respectively, also getting on the board for the next contest in the series. Angie Marino(Buffalo, N.Y.; Cult Crew) crashed warming up for qualifying, breaking her fibula and preventing her from participating in Budapest.

It all came down to Budapest. Qualifying went well for the Americans with Christopher and Roberts taking the top spots for the men’s and women’s events. Dowell and Benegas both qualified fourth in their respective events and moved on to the finals. Unfortunately, the Olympic Qualifier Series run ended with the qualifier for Bruce, who had a massive crash in his first run of the day.

Finals day could not have gone better for Team USA. Roberts and Benegas finished their runs in first and second which qualified both of them for their second Olympic Games. Christopher and Dowell scored second and fifth. That was enough for both of them to finish in the top six overall and punch their tickets to Paris.

The Paris 2024 Olympic BMX Freestyle events begin on Tuesday, July 30 with the Men’s and Women’s Park Qualifications. The next day, competition will conclude with the Men’s and Women’s Park Finals on Wednesday, July 31. Watch all the cycling events live on Peacock.

2024 U.S. Olympic BMX Freestyle Team:


Hannah Roberts (Buchanan, Mich.; Hyper BMX)

Perris Benegas (Reno, Nev.; Haro BMX)


Marcus Christopher (Canton, Ohio; DK Bicycles)

Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, Va.; Hyper BMX)


Hannah Roberts (Buchanan, Mich.; Hyper BMX):

“Budapest couldn’t have gone any better! I’m pumped on the win, but I’m even more excited for the team! We qualified two men, Justin and Marcus, and two women, Perris and myself! Making my second Olympic team is amazing but making my second Olympic team with Perris by my side makes it so special. We are going to Paris for round two and I couldn’t be more pumped!”

Perris Benegas (Reno, Nev.; Haro BMX):

“Budapest went as well as it could have gone for myself and for the team. Being exactly one year out from knee surgery, putting a full run together was all I wanted, and to land a spot on the podium along with punching my ticket to Paris was icing on the cake. It was such a relief and a special moment. I’m so proud of everyone and excited to be heading to Paris with this crew! It’s such an honor to make my second Olympic team and represent Team USA and BMX on the big stage. It’s even more special to be on this journey with Hannah by my side. I’m so excited for this opportunity. Paris, here we come!”

Marcus Christopher (Canton, Ohio; DK Bicycles):

“I couldn’t be happier with how Budapest went! I put down a solid first run in finals that put me in second place and that stuck! Getting that second place was such a relief after I fell in [Shanghai] and placed eleventh. I knew if I didn’t get top three in Budapest, I was not going to make the Olympics. Making it to the Olympics has been my dream ever since BMX Freestyle got added. I am super stoked about my result in Budapest and I’m ready for the Olympics!”

Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, Va.; Hyper BMX):

“I’m going back to the Olympics! My fifth-place finish in Budapest, and my sixth-place finish in Shanghai have given me enough points to automatically qualify for the Olympics. I am just one of six riders automatically selected to advance to the games. I can’t say enough about this team, from the riders to the staff. It is an absolute pleasure to ride for Team USA. Thank you to my fellow USA riders, and to the USA Staff, and everyone who has supported me over this long qualifying span, dating back almost two years. On to Paris!”

Jamie Staff – USA Cycling’s Director of BMX:

“I’m super proud of the freestyle team and the four riders that earned their spots for the games through the Olympic Qualifying Series. Freestyle as a discipline really impresses me. Not only are the athletes putting themselves at extreme risk every time they ride, but they also do it under so much pressure, it's incredible. It goes to show how resilient the U.S. riders are. I’d also like to thank Ryan Nyquist for putting his heart and soul into the program and being a fantastic role model for these athletes. I wish the whole freestyle team success at the Olympics.”

Ryan Nyquist – USA Cycling’s BMX Freestyle Coach:

“Being head coach of a powerhouse team is not for the faint of heart. I am so proud of the athletes and the staff that made this week work! We maxed out our Olympic spots for both the men and the women, which was the best case scenario for any and all countries involved. While I’m happy with this result, the job isn’t done. Off to Paris we go!”


For downloadable photos of athletes, click here.

USA Cycling Olympic Hub:

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