What an exciting weekend for Skateboarding! The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee announced today that Skateboarding would join Surfing, Sports Climbing, Karate and Baseball/Softball as the five sports they are recommending for inclusion in the 2020 games. It sounds like this is the first time that the organizing committee itself has had the opportunity to provide recommendations to the IOC for program additions.
So far the Skateboarding focus appears to be Street and Park with both Men's and Women's events. Its great to see the inclusion of the Women’s events especially as groups like Exposure http://exposureskate.org/ were formed in the wake of a decrease in Women’s events at major skate competitions occurring around 2012.
We would have liked to see Vert explicitly on the list, presumably things may evolve over the next year as the IOC reviews further input prior to finalizing their decisions in August of 2016.
One of the most interesting aspects of Skateboarding’s inclusion in the Olympics is the identification of a single “International Federation” that would specify rules and other aspects of the sports introduction into the Olympic format. Transworld has a good feature discussing the 3 organizations all vying for this leadership role. The World Skateboarding Federation (WSF), the Federation International de Roller Sports (FIRS), and the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF).
We did check all three group’s websites this morning and all 3 positively celebrate the Tokyo Committee’s announcement.
Not all Skateboards are thrilled with the idea of Skateboarding being in the Olympics at all. In a nutshell. the spirit of skateboarding is having fun. The concern seems to be that by introducing international competition the Olympics will take away from the purity and individuality of skateboarding.
Our perspective is simply that skateboarding is awesome. It is going to grow and evolve. It will get bigger and better. Nothing can take away the feeling of being on a board. And yeah, some kids really excel in competitive environments. We’ve seen amazing camaraderie and great friendships grow out of skateboarding contests. Events like the X-Games and Dew Tour show that the top skaters maintain that spirt of fun even when competing with one another.
Opening that spirit up on the global stage gives Skateboarding the opportunity to broaden its base by sharing the beauty of skating and the joy it brings its participants.
We definitely welcome family friendly dialog, let us know what you think in the comments below!