Olympic skateboarding is a hot topic among skaters. Others say it’ll help skateboarding grow while others claim that it is not a sport at all. Nonetheless, skateboarding will be at the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. We’ve also written about the pros and cons here. This time, however, we are discussing how Olympic skateboarding is changing the culture from within. Everything from judging to national teams and uniforms – we’ve covered them all. Hope you like it.

"Whether positive or negative, every skater seems to have an opinion about Olympic skateboarding". 

Who is getting picked and how?

Skateboarders are not the most organized people compared to other sports. Countries might not have the resources or organizations to work with when considering which skateboarders get to participate. However, this could bring a lot of positives into the table as well. It could gently nudge skateboarders to organize which could bring more possibilities to help the community. For example, skateboarders might be able to gather finances to help maintain skateparks and build new ones as the lifestyle grows. In turn, the Olympics games would be an incredible stage to show the world the positive aspects of skateboarding. In the long term, all this publicity would slowly benefit the skaters themselves. 

The brains behind all of this is an organization called World Skate, which was a result of the International Skate Foundation (ISF) and the Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) joining forces and becoming one big organization. World Skate was also the organization responsible of applying for a spot in the Olympics. Furthermore, they’ll also be organizing the qualifying contest for Olympic skateboarding in the future. 

For the first Olympic skateboarding event, the participating countries are responsible for organizing qualifications to form their own team. While being in the olympic team does not automatically mean you are qualified, it provides financial support and access to training facilities. Brazil is a prime example of this because they have already unveiled their skateboard national team.

Also, each country can have a maximum of three skaters per event. The old solidarity rule also applies here. There must be one skater from five different continents in every event. As a host nation, japan will also have one skater in every event. 

Olympic skateboarding will have park and street events for both men and women.

How is Olympic skateboarding going to be judged?

Style matters in skateboarding. Just like other aesthetic sports, judging how a trick is done is not an easy task to do. How skaters are judged depends of what contest form they decide to have in the Olympics. Street skating could take some example from Street League where you first have runs and then battle it out section by section. However, our prediction is that the Olympics will have a ”best out of three runs” format, similar to most skate park competitions. We already know that vert skateboarding will not be in the olympics this time because there is less female skaters on the the international-level at the moment. However, skateboarding has been rapidly growing among young females so we’ll see what the future brings.

Hopefully skaters will also be judged for more imaginative lines instead of every skater trying to land the same run multiple times. Because in the end, isn’t that the perfect example of what skateboarding is all about? Sadly, the judges have already ruled that they are looking for “progress instead of perfection” which sounds like the same fever dream as the spin-to-win mentality of competitive snowboarding. Speaking of judges, World Skate has created a certification for official skateboard judges to join the final five-person panel at the Olympics.

Skateboarders are also subject to WADA Anti-doping guidelines.

Skateboarders will be under the same rules as other athletes

While the idea of coaches, outfits and WADA anti doping testing will give most people an honest chuckle, skateboarders are still required to comply with WADA anti doping guidelines. These guidelines obviously prohibit performance enhancing drugs. However, recreational drugs are also on the banned list. To properly keep their tabs on competitors, Olympic athletes are required to give a sample both in-competition as well as out-of-competition. No skater has yet been tested but it might just be a matter of time when the first reports start coming in. 

As far as team uniforms go, that’s up to the National Olympic Committee and National governing bodies to decide. But just like with other sports as well, skaters will not be able to wear visible logos of their sponsors. This is IOC’s rule 50 guideline that specifies what kind of logos athletes can have in their sports equipment. The same guideline states that athletes can wear equipment that has been on the market for six months before the games. Thus, stopping big brands from unveiling their new products at the world’s biggest sports stage. Olympic skateboarding will also be subject to these rules. But how funny would it be to see some authentic retro team uniforms reminiscent of the Powell Peralta era. 

Don’t forget your skateboard coaches!

There’s been no indication that any participating country would bring specific coaches to the mix. At the moment it seems like team managers will take more responsibility in making olympic skaters’ lives easier. This way skateboarders can hone their skills as much as possible. Doesn’t sound like a coach in the traditional sense, does it? But that does bot mean that there won’t be one in the future.

What we are looking at here is an event of such magnitude that it can change the way people are looking at skateboarding. The next Olympic games may very well have a completely new way to look at skateboarding as a competitive sport. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

What do you think about the image of Olympic skateboarding?

Olympic schedule for skateboarding

Women’s street Sunday July 26th

Women’s park Tuesday August 4th

Men’s street Saturday July 25th

Men’s park Wednesday August 5th

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