Love it or hate it skateboarding is going to the Olympics. In what was clearly a move to attract millennial viewers, the Olympic committee unanimously voted to include skateboarding in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Skateboarding has become a worldwide lifestyle sport, with a low cost of entry and primarily taking place in urban centers, skateboarding is a diverse multicultural activity.
While some skateboarders and those in the skateboard industry have let out an audible groan at skateboarding’s Olympic debut, there is no doubt that the chance to represent their country in the Olympics will appeal to many up-and-coming contest skaters.
While the 2020 games are still four years away, and skateboarding’s rapid progression can make established pros seem like yesterday’s news seemingly overnight, there are still many skateboarders who would be serious threats if the games were held today that might still be in serious fighting shape when the 2020 games roll into Japan.
The 2020 Tokyo games are slated to feature both street and park (or bowl) disciplines, and with that in mind we have picked five skaters that would crush if the contest was to run today, but still might be major contenders come 2020.
1. Nyjah Huston, USA, Street
While Nyjah is most certainly considered a vet at this point having turned in multiple mind-bending video parts and being one of the most highly decorated street skaters in both X Games and Street League history.
Huston isn’t slowing down anytime soon and the fact that Nyjah is only 21 means he will certainly still be in his athletic prime in 2020.
If the street contest was held today, there is no doubt that Nyjah would be a heavy favorite, and if he can stay healthy and motivated for the next four years, he might just nab gold in Tokyo.
2. Pedro Barros, Brazil, Park
Another young professional skateboarder whose accomplishments far exceed his young age is the Brazilian bowl destroyer, Pedro Barros.
Barros’ bowl riding ability is next level and if he chooses to pursue the games, there is no doubt that he will be a contender in the park category.
While Pedro is a skater’s skater by all accounts, his love of country might supersede his desire to stay core, as Brazilians are well-known for their national pride.
Pedro has six X Games gold medals and three silver, making him one of the most decorated X Games competitors of all time.
3. Shane O’Neill, Australia, Street
Shane currently sits second only to Nyjah in the 2016 SLS rankings and is considered one of the most technical and consistent skateboarders in the world.
Shane claimed silver at X Games Oslo in 2016 and followed that up with a win at the Tampa Pro, which is considered the premier contest for core skaters.
O’Neill will be 30 when the Tokyo games take place, so only time will tell if the young Australian will still be pushing the envelope as far as technical skateboarding is concerned in four years.
4. Leticia Bufoni, Brazil, Street
Brazilian-born Leticia Bufoni isn’t good for a girl … she’s extremely good for anybody. The Brazilian street skater has dropped some of the heaviest parts in women’s skateboarding history and continually dominates competitions including being crowned the 2015 Street League World Champion and has won three X Games gold medals.
The ESPY-nominated athlete will be 27 when the games roll around, making her a sure-fire favorite if she chooses to make a run at gold.
5. Alex Sorgente, Italy, Park
Alex (or Alessandro) is the youngest of the five featured competitors at age 19, making him not only someone who would be a viable threat if the games were held today, but will also still be in his skateboarding prime in 2020.
Alex is coming off of a fresh victory Vans Pro Skate Park Series in Malmo, Sweden, against a stacked field of today’s best transition skaters.
With a mind-bending blend of both vert power and tech savviness, Alex is a beast in the park discipline. Sorgente also has the corporate backing and competitive experience to make him a perfect fit for the Olympics.
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