Skateboarding in the 2020 Summer Olympics
Image via Olympics.org / Source: Vice
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted unanimously on Thursday to include skateboarding in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. The Olympics will include both men’s and women’s park and street events, with a total of 80 skaters—40 men and 40 women—competing in them.
The thinking was that skating would draw a young audience in. “We want to take sport to the youth,” said Thomas Bach, the IOC president. “With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect anymore that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them.”
Skateboarding is just one of five sports that have been added to the Olympic program, alongside sport climbing, karate, baseball/softball, and surfing.
While it’s good news for the Olympic Committee, others—namely lots of skaters—aren’t so happy about skateboarding’s inclusion in the games, citing the fact competitive skating is always kind of lame and not really keeping in the spirit of what the sport’s “supposed” to be about.
“Skateboarding was cool because it was something different,” said one commenter on an article on the Ride Channel. “Skateboarding just took one more step toward being a lot like gymnastics or figure skating,” said another. “Damn it.”
But the decision still has its champions: International Skateboarding Federation president Gary Ream said: “I’ve always believed that if skateboarding was properly protected and supported, its appearance on the Olympic stage could change the world.”
So there you go; the 2020 Summer Olympics will take place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, so make sure to tune in to see exactly how the world is affected.