“SKATEBOARDING IS A SPORT, SO NOW WHAT? – I Watched the Olympics and It Wasn’t What I Expected.” by Anthony Pappalardo via Artless Industrial

“SKATEBOARDING IS A SPORT, SO NOW WHAT? – I Watched the Olympics and It Wasn’t What I Expected.” by Anthony Pappalardo via Artless Industrial

After being announced in 2016 and delayed a year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, skateboarding made its official Olympic debut on Saturday, July 24, 2021. During the ramp-up, my skate-centric social media channels fell into three buckets: 1. Supportive 2. Dismissive 3. Ironically excited. I mostly landed in the third lane because I seldom enjoy modern skate competitions but was curious and also happy for all those involved, especially the athletes. It seemed like the opinion that skateboarding was not a sport and this inclusion was a bad thing was the minority take, mostly because it’s a jaded way to view things and we all need to be celebratory on social media… right? Also, skateboarding is a sport and a physical art at the same time and it’s malleable—you can skate in a contest but also film a VX part and be revered by the “core” community.  If you’re an older person, you’ve seen different waves in skateboarding’s mainstream popularity so the Olympics? Is it really going to change that much and does it really matter?  Think about the notable “big money eras,” such as the X-Games Tony Hawk 900 boom and later, the Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game boom. Both changed skateboarding by making it more monetarily viable while normalizing it to normies. Woodward Skate Camp enrollment grew due to the interest, there was more mainstream coverage and one could argue that board graphics and branding became safer and more homogenized once big-box stores started carrying “real” brands.  We’ve been here before and that’s why most skaters don’t really care about what the Olympics will do...
“Teenagers Win All 3 Medals In Women’s Street Skateboarding Event” by Leila Fadel via NPR

“Teenagers Win All 3 Medals In Women’s Street Skateboarding Event” by Leila Fadel via NPR

Momiji Nishiya of Team Japan celebrates during the Women’s Street Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Monday at Ariake Urban Sports Park. Patrick Smith/Getty Images TOKYO — Thirteen-year-old Momiji Nishiya dazzled during the Olympic women’s skateboarding street competition. She skated through a park of rails, ramps and stairs meant to mimic city street parks at the Ariake Urban Sports Park. When she finished, she became Japan’s youngest-ever gold medal winner and one of the youngest Olympic champions of all time. Nishiya shared the podium with two other teenagers. It “could very well be the youngest Olympic podium ever,” the official Olympics news outlet says. Nishiya’s win also sealed Japan’s domination of the street competition. It debuted at these Summer Olympics and organizers hope it infuses the global sports event with youthful energy. In fact, half of the women in the eight-skateboarder final were 16 or younger. Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, a few months younger than Nishiya, took silver. Another Japanese skateboarder Funa Nakayama, 16, won bronze. Nishiya’s victory came the day after Japan’s Yuto Horigome, 22, took the gold in the men’s street competition. The sport is one of several new games at the Olympics this year including surfing, three on three basketball and rock climbing. NPR is an independent, nonprofit media organization that was founded on a mission to create a more informed public. Every day, NPR connects with millions of Americans on the air, online, and in person to explore the news, ideas, and what it means to be human. Through its network of member stations, NPR makes local stories national, national stories local, and global...
“A Son of Tokyo Wins Skateboarding’s First Gold” by John Branch via The New York Times plus highlight video of the finals courtesy of NBC Sports

“A Son of Tokyo Wins Skateboarding’s First Gold” by John Branch via The New York Times plus highlight video of the finals courtesy of NBC Sports

Yuto Horigome of Japan landed three tricks in a row to claim his gold medal. Credit…Alexandra Garcia/The New York Times Yuto Horigome won gold in the men’s street competition only eight miles from where he grew up, and after Nyjah Huston fell four times in a row. TOKYO — With its street-riding roots, youthful vibe and full immersion into culture of all kinds, skateboarding was invited to the Olympics because its global reach could no longer be denied. But it only had to look across town for its first Olympic champion. Yuto Horigome, the 22-year-old son of a Tokyo taxi driver, had the gold medal for men’s street skateboarding draped around his neck on Sunday in an empty, sun-drenched skatepark about eight miles from where he grew up. Skateboarding: Men’s Street FinalRESULTGOLDYuto Horigome – Japan 37.18 ptsSILVERKelvin Hoefler – Brazil36.15 ptsBRONZEJagger Eaton – United States35.35 pts4Vincent Milou – France34.14 pts5Angelo Caro Narvaez – Peru32.87 pts6Aurelien  Giraud – France29.09 pts7Nyjah Huston – United States26.1 pts8Gustavo Ribeiro – Portugal15.05 pts With the venue’s grandstands left empty because of pandemic protocols, the biggest ovation he received was from the army of volunteers working at Ariake Urban Sports Park, who trailed him with enthusiastic applause. But the victory was sure to resonate. A few miles away, Horigome’s father, Ryota, the one who first taught Yuto how to ride, was too nervous to watch, even on television. He left the family’s third-floor apartment in an unassuming eastside neighborhood and went for a bicycle ride. Eventually, calls and messages poured into his phone. He knew what it meant. Yuto had won. And Japan, where skateboarding in...
“Facebook rides into Tokyo Games with new skateboarding campaign” by Kendra Clark via The Drum

“Facebook rides into Tokyo Games with new skateboarding campaign” by Kendra Clark via The Drum

Just four days before the official kick-off of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Facebook has launched a new global ad campaign that showcases stories of how Facebook communities and technologies have helped bring together passionate skateboarders and skateboarding fans from across the globe — and advanced the sport itself. Facebook has today unveiled a new multichannel global ad campaign that aims to help people “change the game” with its platform and technologies. To run during NBC’s coverage of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the spot celebrates Facebook’s vibrant skateboarding communities. This is the first year that skateboarding will be included in the Olympic Games. Brought to life by agency Droga5, the multi-app campaign includes creative for Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Blue App and Oculus. There are a total of four films, including one directed by pop-R&B icon FKA Twigs. “Facebook is proud to celebrate skateboarding and its athletes around the world, as the sport takes the global stage in Tokyo for the first time,” said Andrew Stirk, Facebook’s vice president of global company marketing, in a statement today. “Skateboarding is a grassroots sport and culture, centered around connection and community. This work celebrates the authentic stories of skaters using our platforms to find each other, broaden the culture, and push the sport forward.” Skateboarders and skateboarding fans have a notable presence across Facebook platforms. More than 34 million users follow skateboarding creators on Instagram, while Facebook is home to skateboarding groups and communities with over 5.7 million users. Ahead of the summer Olympics — which represents a major milestone for the sport — Facebook recognizes an opportunity to engage these...
“Skateboarding as an Olympic sport has even some on Team USA feeling conflicted” by Phil McCausland via NBC News

“Skateboarding as an Olympic sport has even some on Team USA feeling conflicted” by Phil McCausland via NBC News

Members of the first U.S. Olympic skateboarding team arrive on their boards for a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on June 21, 2021.Richard Vogel / AP “I think as a community, people were attracted to skateboarding because it was not part of something like the Olympics; it was not mainstream,” one expert said. For decades skateboarders have tossed on a beat up pair of sneakers and hunted for their town’s best skate spots. This month, however, eighty of the world’s best skaters will don sleek Olympic uniforms and look for judges’ point totals as skateboarding makes its debut as an Olympic sport in Tokyo. Some in the skateboarding community — including members of the U.S. national team — have mixed feelings about skating’s ongoing “sportification,” however, and have shared fears of further oversight and rigidity in a culture that values independence and self expression. USA’s first Olympic skateboarders: ‘It’s going to open doors’ AUG. 14, 201902:52 That dissonance echoes throughout skateboarding. Since becoming popular in Southern California in the 1960s, skateboarders have shaped film, fashion, music, video games, art, photography and writing. Tens of millions of skaters worldwide now make up a diverse and sought-after community — and a multibillion-dollar industry — while still remaining a counterculture powerhouse known for its rebellious inclinations. “I think as a community, people were attracted to skateboarding because it was not part of something like the Olympics; it was not mainstream,” said Ian Michna, the editor of Jenkem Magazine, a skateboarding and culture magazine. “It was more of an artistic activity you could do on your own independently and shape your own way, be your own...
“A pair of 12-year-olds qualify for Olympic skateboarding. So does a 46-year-old” by via NBC Sports & Yahoo Sports

“A pair of 12-year-olds qualify for Olympic skateboarding. So does a 46-year-old” by via NBC Sports & Yahoo Sports

Skateboarding’s Olympic debut will truly be one for the ages. World Skate announced the 80 qualifiers for the Tokyo Games on Wednesday — 20 each for men’s and women’s park and street. The youngest qualifiers are 12 years old — Brit Sky Brown, who turns 13 on July 12, and Japanese Kokona Hiraki, who was born two days after the Beijing Olympics ended. Brown and Hiraki are ranked Nos. 3 and 6 in the world, respectively. They are younger than any Olympian since Cameroon swimmer Antoinette Guedia at those 2008 Olympics. Either could become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Brown suffered skull fractures in a spring 2020 crash off a vert ramp. The oldest qualifier is a man known as The Danish Destroyer. Rune Glifberg, 46, competed at the very first X Games in 1995 — and took third in the vert event won by Tony Hawk in Rhode Island. He was also in the very first Tony Hawk Pro Skater game for the original PlayStation in 1999. The 34-year age range is not close to the Olympic record. In 2016 alone, equestrian featured an 18-year-old and a 62-year-old. The U.S. Olympic skateboarding team of 12 is here. Skateboarding was added to the Olympic program for Tokyo under new rules that allow hosts to propose sports strictly for their edition of the Games. Skateboarding was added along with baseball, softball, karate, sport climbing and surfing. Skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were also added for the 2024 Paris Games. If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join...