Skateboarders are notoriously anti-establishment — it’s in their nature to question conventional thinking and to challenge the status quo.
So when skateboarding (along with surfing and sport climbing) was officially announced as an Olympic sport for the 2020 Tokyo Games yesterday, the skateboard world began throwing boatloads of mixed reactions.
While this has been talked about as a possibility for years, it’s still sinking in today that skaters, surfers and climbers will be awarded Olympic medals in 2020 alongside other world-class athletes.
It’s safe to say that the majority of the skateboarding world is confused and baffled by this.
We gonna put skateboarders in matching patriotic denim ensembles with blank decks at the Olympics? Just curious.
— Sal Masekela (@SalMasekela) August 3, 2016
I have a plan: Everyone quit skating for scootering, make that super cool instead and the Olympics will drop skateboarding for scooting!
— Robert Brink (@RobertBrink) August 3, 2016
I don't think skateboarding belongs in the Olympics at all. It's not a sport and I will never think of it as one. To me skateboarding will always take place illegally in the streets with you're friends. However, now that it's been chosen for 2020 if I was asked to participate I would definitely do it just to be able to be a part of the greatest competition in the world. People are gonna hate on it for sure and I completely understand where they're coming from but honestly I would go just for the experience and the chance to hangout with the best, most dedicated athletes from all over the world. Being able to say you competed in the Olympics is an amazing accomplishment and like I said, even though I don't think skateboarding should be a part of them, and I have no clue how they're gonna run the contest and in which type of format, but I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to go if it was put in front of me. What do y'all think of skateboarding in the Olympics?
I'd like to thank all my energy drink sponsors for fueling my body to perform. The tiny hands of slave labor for keeping my feet laced/body clothed and all the other bullshit that we will now be allowed to use skateboarding like a cheap whore while not giving back to the community. Thank You. #NobodyToBlameButOurselves #CanWeGoBackToHowItWas #AndyRoyTeamUSA
Let me get real with y'all. Skateboarding ain't a sport. I started skating because I hated the boring rules of football and all them other jock sports. It was a way for adolescent me to express myself (keyword here) ARTISTICALLY. Jocks suck, so why would I want to be associated with them through a corrupt athletic contest putting nations up against one another? I don't care if you're from Brazil, Africa or Tatooine, making skateboarding about nationalism is shit. I get it, the idea of being on a huge mainstream platform seems like it would create more skateboarders, which is a good thing, right? Wrong. While there will definitely be an influx of new skateboarders, most will be doing it for the wrong reasons. The Olympics sensationalizes fame, money, and having your face on a box of Wheaties. Get ready to see a lot more skate coach parents who've never ridden a skateboard, trying to make a prodigy out of their 5 year old, forcing them to jump down a 10 stair. You may be saying "Fuck off, Skate Nerd. Core skateboarding still exists with or without the Olympics". This is true to some extent, but let me put it to you like this: Skateboarding is my group of best friends and the industry is the cafe we meet up at everyday. One day, the cafe gets new owners and the vibes of the place totally change. Does this mean we can't meet up everyday? No, but it definitely affects me, as I spend a lot of time there. The industry follows the money. Just look at how certain Internet venues shifted the way we get media, and has all but killed skate mags and full-length videos. I wrote this because I care about the well-being of skateboarding. The only one that will benefit from the Olympics are athletic shoe brands. Hmm, I wonder which 3 guys will be standing on the podium plastered head-to-toe in the swoosh? The kid watching in Bangladesh (that is completely oblivious to real skateboarding) sees that logo and guess what his first pair of skate shoes is gonna be? Times that by every other city and nation in the world and guess who wins? The best way to fuck off the Olympics is by supporting brands that were built by skateboarding, not by jocks straps.
Not everyone is pouring on the hate, however. As mentioned, the International Skateboarding Federation has been pushing hard for this for years and it’s finally a reality.
I'm already preparing for Tokyo: conducting drills, rehearsing routines, changing diets, and [most importantly] reversing the aging process.
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) August 3, 2016
Amazing news today pic.twitter.com/ik1MiSLnHH
— The Boardr (@TheBoardr) August 3, 2016
The truth is, the majority of the skateboarding world is expressing frustration and anger over this. Either way, in 2020 a handful of skateboarders will officially be Olympic athletes.
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