When one thinks of skateboarding they think of urban youths and street culture .You think of rebellion you think of expression. Well skateboarding has proved to be such a popular phenomenon such that the International Olympic Committee has recognize it as an Olympic Sport. It made its Olympic debut at the just ended Tokyo 2020 games even beating popular disciplines such as cricket to that status. Today I am having a look at what skateboarding is all about, its rules, current superstars and emerging young players. To put it simply, skateboarding is an individual art form of sport(judges measure the acrobatic sequences in the same way the gymnastic ones do). It is also one of the few sports that emphasize on creativity and innovation(which is why most skateboarders make the seamless transition to business and entrepreneurship, think Tony Hawk).
Skateboarding is a sport which uses a giant curved board as its field. The equipment for the athlete is plywood mounted on four wheels. The way it first emerged is Silicon Valley like innovation. Some surfer guys in 1940s California got bored when the waves were flat. So in order to keep the fun going they removed wheels normal roller skates ,put them on a wooden board and rolled down the tarmac. They called it “sidewalk surfing”. The street version of Skateboarding involves skating on anything that is skate-able, talk about guard rails, walls , park benches you name it. This is an extreme and dangerous type of skating which should only be done by experts. I should add that this version of the sport is frowned upon by law enforcement as youths sometimes disturb public peace and privacy. The emphasis is on tricks and getting applause of the crowd rather than a set of judges. The Olympics version of skateboarding IS MUCH MORE STRUCTURED and controlled.
The PARK competition which consisted of two rounds the preliminary round and the finals. At Tokyo 2020 there were 20 competitors competing in 4 Heats of 5. The top eight went through to the finals. The skaters are score by five judges. Each one is given three runs of 45 seconds each. A score out of 100 is given for each run. For final tallying, the highest and the lowest scores of each run fall away. The other three judges’ scores are averaged correct to two decimal places. The highest score is the qualifying one. Sakura Yosozumi of Japan became the first Olympic champ for women in this event whilst Keegan Palmer of Australia the Men’s. In the Olympic “street rules” competition, the skaters are given 5 tricks to perform in which they are scored in addition to the three runs. They score the tricks and the runs on a scale of zero to 10, the highest and lowest score is dropped. The remaining run and tricks are averaged. Adding the four highest run or trick scores provides the skater’s score. Phew. Momiji Nishiya of Japan won the women’s gold for this event whilst Yuto Horigome won the men’s. Clearly Asia is the Skateboarding Superpower continent.