Could skateboarding become an Olympic sport? Following the success of snowboarding and freestyle skiing at the Sochi Winter Olympics in January, the organisers are apparently considering it seriously.
Tony Hawk has been invited to several meetings about it and recently told Larry King he believes it will be part of the Games by 2020.
But what would that mean for the sport we know and love? Sponsored skater Vaughan Jones, who’s been skating for more than half his life, takes a look…
Skateboarding is a sport like no other. But with BMX being included in the Olympics people have assumed skateboarding – being another so-called “extreme” sport – could work in the Olympics too.
Of course Olympic BMXing is racing and not a trick contest. Can you imagine a load of guys padded to the nines bombing round a mega ramp race circuit, absolutely annihilating themselves for the gold?
Somehow I doubt that would work – though it would be fucking entertaining to watch!
But let’s leave that aside and assume that some kind of trick contest makes it into the Olympics (probably vert, but it could be some kind of Street League format) what would the effects be?Nyjah Huston, who’s won 6 X Games street medals and more prize money than any skater ever, would probably do quite well out of an Olympics.
1) It Would Change People’s Attitudes For the Better
We’ve all had abuse off a complete stranger with a warped opinion on skateboarding. The amount of times I’ve had random obscure insults shouted at me is unreal.
A lot of people can’t resist trying to put you off it also, telling you to get a life or that you’ll break your neck or snap your ankle.
And don’t get me started on the general ignorance of people on the street thinking you’re worse than Hitler for just riding down the street and jumping on some obstacles, that shit is the worst.
“It could help with everyday ordeals we come across, like dealing with security.”
Having skateboarding in the Olympics could change the ignorant, negative opinions that a majority of the general public seem to have about skateboarding. With Olympic exposure people would see it as more of a “proper” sport.
If you look at the way snowboarding (which has been an Olympic sport since 1998) is appreciated and understood by the general public, that could point the way for how people think about skateboarding and skaters.Skaters might get stopped and have their hands shaken if it was in the Olympics.
Even if you’re not into the competition side of skateboarding, and you hate X Games and Street League, more general acceptance could be a good thing. It could help with everyday ordeals we come across, like dealing with security.
Parents whose son or daughter wants to start skating might also encourage them instead of just assuming that will injure themselves instantly.
The Olympics would probably also create a new wave of non-skaters with skateboards – hipsters with all the gear and no idea – but an increase in skater numbers overall would surely be good for skaters?
2) It Would Mean More (And Better) Skateparks
Skateboarding being in the Olympics (and the increase in skater numbers that would come with it) would definitely create more revenue for skateparks to be built all over the country.
You’d see councils agreeing for skateparks to be built in areas which would never get a skatepark at the moment, no matter how hard the locals petitioned or raised money.Imagine skateparks like Venice Beach everywhere. Photo: allaxisaerial.com
This could transform the lives of kids growing up in dodgy areas where the best spot they have to skate is a tyre attached to a cow or some shit.
It would also encourage more people to start skating which again would increase the popularity of skating. Which would mean…