Are Skateboarders Happy with the Olympics?
As you can read in the piece of information above, on the interview with Larry King, Tony Hawk spoke in favour of skateboarding in the Olympics, even though his discipline, vert ramp, which consist on a half-pipe, it is not currently included in the Olympic programme.
But Hawk is not the only one that has spoken its mind about this topic. Nyjah Huston, Nike sponsored professional skateboarder who won several of the stops in the Street League from the year 2011 to 2019, stated on a Forbes interview that: “Now, everyone is working on getting [skateboarding] in the Olympics for 2020, which I hope happens. I want to see more kids out there getting good at skating, having fun with skating. It’s growing so much and people realize you can make a living off of skateboarding”.
On his side, we can find more skaters who share the same view. This is the case of Evan Smith. Professional rider for DC shoes who also competes in the Street League, explained on the Grey Skate Magazine that: “I think it’s cool. I mean what would you do if someone asked you to go to the fucking Olympics and you felt like you could do it? You’d probably say yes. You’d probably push yourself, if you were smart”.
On the other hand, there are also prominent skaters that have a different vision about skateboarding in the Olympics. For instance, Tristan Funkhouser, a young professional skater for DC Shoes, who explained on a video for Ollie Shit that: “It is not natural. I personally don’t think it would be cool. That’s not what skating is, skating is an expression of yourself. You can’t just put points on that”.
Another professional skater which is against the Olympics but for different reasons is Boo Johnson. The Diamond Footwear skateboarder said on an interview for elpatin.com that: “If they ask me to go to the Olympics I wouldn’t men, like, they are definitely drug testing and you know me. So… that’s not gonna happen”.
The last statement shows a different perspective in the world of skateboarding, drugs. Drugs have always been linked to the skateboarding community. This affirmation can be checked on the Mockmouth article in which they talk about skateboarding legends having troubles with drug addiction.
Another example which connects skateboarding with the consumption of drugs is the case of Pedro Barros. The professional skateboarder chosen for the Brazilian Olympic team, went through a drug test in 2018. According to the ABDC (Autoridade Brasileira Controle de Dopagem), the authority in charge of anti-doping in Brazil, the results of this test confirmed that Barros consumed THC (Marihuana).
Talking about national Olympic teams, Brazil together with Norway are the only ones that have released their official lists. The Scandinavian nation has chosen a humbler team with skaters who are unknown for the skating community. Except for one of them, Karsten Kleppan, who rides for Nike and has participated in the Street League and also in the X Games in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
On the Brazilian side, apart from Barros, which could be disqualified for the 2020 Olympics, Brazil has other big names such as: Luan Oliveira, Felipe Gustavo and Tiago Lemos, skating for Nike, Adidas and DC Shoes respectively. On the female category they have one of the biggest stars, Leticia Bufoni who skates for Nike. All these Brazilians currently skate on the Street League, so it could be said that Brazil is going to be a big opponent to defeat.