2020 Olympic Summer Games Are Four Years Away with Skateboarding dream at stake!!! Is it wrong?
Both the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) and the World Skateboarding Federation (WSF), led by respective Americans Gary Ream and Tim McFerran, want to run the sport if it is included on the Olympic programme.
Street and park skateboarding events were proposed by the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) to Tokyo 2020, which had also unsuccessfully submitted an application for several roller skating events.
This atmosphere brings together three bodies striving to have power on the whole process of organizing and controlling skateboarding in Olympic. Final approval must be given by the IOC at its Session in Rio de Janeiro in August ahead of 2016 Olympic Summer games.
Another potential problem within skateboarding concerns a poor anti-doping programme, with recreational drug use believed to be widespread. This might harm the possibilities of skateboarding inclusion into Olympic.
Apart from the struggles going on among different bodies there has been a division among the skateboarders. Some believe that skateboarding do not need Olympic but Olympic needs skateboarding. There are a lot of petitions going on to stop IOC from including skateboarding into the 2020 games. The most famous petition going online is “Skateboarding Is Not A Sport”
Supporters of “Skateboarding Is Not A Sport” believe that skateboarding is culture and it has to stay that way forever. But those who support skateboarding inclusion into Olympic believe that skateboarding needs to grow equally and Olympic is a promising future. They believe that skateboarding being enlisted will help the growing of skateboarding as a culture as well as a sport.
One of the most successful skateboarding icons to have emerged from the competitive side is multi-millionaire and video game tycoon, Tony Hawk, who is a proponent for Olympic skateboarding;
“It is exciting that skateboarding could possibly be included in the Olympics,” he told TIME. “This is not only a great opportunity for our sport and the skaters, but also for the Games. It is now more important than ever to preserve the unique culture of skateboarding which makes our sport so appealing and relevant.”
Other professional skateboarders join the movement on supporting Olympic including; Leticia Bufoni, Professional Skateboarder from Brazil, Chris Cole, Professional Skateboarder from the USA, Amelia Brodka, Professional Skateboarder from Poland and Co-Founder of EXPOSURE Skate, Ryan Decenzo, Professional Skateboarder from Canada, Renton Millar, Professional Skateboarder from Australia and Brian Atlas, President and COO Street League Skateboarding (SLS)
These supporters they all support skateboarding into Olympic and suggest different organization to be in control of the game with ISF and WSF being mention.
“Only in the US have I ever received negative vibes about skateboarding in the Olympics. People in the US do not understand how good they have it. Most skateboarders outside the US have no skateboard parks, very little access to skate gear and the skaters usually don’t have US brands funding them. The only hope is to get organized and have the Olympics to help them build skate parks and provide opportunities.
For everyone outside the US its only about building skate parks and getting expanding opportunities. We in skateboarding need to stop trying to inhibit others from enjoying skateboarding and stop trying to be “exclusive” I believe “every skateboarder matters” no matter where you live or whether you do or do not have sponsors.”-Tim McFerran, WSF
WSF has been calling for transparency and “every skateboarder matters” WSF wants to make sure that the local skate communities in each country have control over where potential money is spent and WSF believes it should stay with its own country. Also that skateboarding need people who love skateboarding not people who love money, the latter can lead to problems and corruption.
“Today’s announcement by Tokyo 2020 marks an important milestone in skateboarding’s short Olympic history which started with a first Olympic experience at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in summer 2014. This decision recognizes the growth and popularity of skateboarding, and we appreciate that the IOC has made it possible for new sports to be added to the Games. The ISF and the skateboarding community are ready, equipped and well positioned to help make the first Olympic appearance of skateboarding an amazing one for skaters and fans alike.”-Gary Ream, ISF
While the competition going on on whether skateboarding should be included or not and who should have the power in organizing the game we have so many other supporters dreaming for skateboarding in Olympic.
NOMAD Skateboarding released a 20 mins long documentary “Road To Tokyo” which is an introspective journey about the future of skateboarding. A skateboard torch travelling from Spain to Japan, told through the eyes of skaters who support skateboarding becoming Olympic and some who don’t.
We at Africa Skateboarding Diary believe that skateboarding will always remain a culture but it is also a sport and African countries needs skateboarding into Olympic to help growing the scene. Many African countries deny skateboarders access into different places and many have been scolded into police stations. The rise of skateboarding shops will be a short-listed outcome and many international standards park will be built.