Skateboarding is a type of sport involving the use of a skateboard to ride and perform tricks. It is also a recreational activity and a method of transportation. Skateboarding is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with a market worth of US$4.8 billion in 2009 in revenue and an estimated 11 million skateboarders around the world. An area purposefully constructed for use by the skateboarders is known as a skatepark. Because of its growing popularity, skateboarding is one of the five sports added to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. However, it is not guaranteed that it will be contested in later years.
Skateboarding At The Olympics
Skateboarding will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time in Tokyo 2020. The decision to include the sport was reached in 2016 as part of attracting young and more energetic participants and audiences. Other events that will make their Olympic debut are sport climbing, karate, and surfing. Skateboarding is expected to attract a total of 80 competitors. The men will compete separately from the women but both categories will each compete in the park and street event. Thus, four medal events will be held for the sport. Skateboarding is expected to take place in the Aomi Urban Venue in Tokyo.
The number of skateboarders who are expected to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics has been limited to 80. Thus, as in some of the Olympic sports, skateboarders have to go through a qualification phase before they can participate in the Games. The qualification system is based on the World Skateboarding Ranking. Skateboarders are ranked based on the points they earn by competing in World Skate sanctioned events during a qualifying period which began on January 1, 2019, and is expected to end on May 31, 2020. The men’s park and street and women’s park and street events will each comprise of 20 athletes. Three highest-ranked skateboarders in the 2020 season of the World Skateboarding Championship in each respective event will automatically qualify for the 2020 Games. 16 skateboarders in each event will qualify through the Olympic World Skateboarding Ranking while the highest-ranked skateboarder in the country for each event will qualify. Meaning, four highest-ranked Japanese skateboarders (two male and two female) will be guaranteed a spot at the Olympics.
The Olympic Skateparks
Four skateboarding events are expected to feature at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: the street and park events. The Aomi Urban Venue in Tokyo has been selected as the venue for skateboarding events. The venue will feature among others a state-of-the-art skatepark. Both the World Skate and the International Olympic Committee support the idea of a skatepark being unique in design to enhance and promote the creativity of skateboarding. To make the sport even more competitive and challenging for the skateboarders, the World Skate has decided not to release any official design of the skatepark for the Olympic competition. Instead, World Skate will only disclose the examples and criteria to enable the skatepark designers to create a skatepark matching the Olympic standard.