The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will feature Skateboarding as an official event. 40 men and 40 women will be the first to skate for gold at a time when the Olympics is trying to attract a younger audience.
I grew up in the 1980’s and 90’s at a time when MTV was bigger than life and everyone was wearing parachute pants. It was a confusing time culturally, the Reagan era was being ushered out and what was once a spit shined sparkling youth started looking more like the homeless demented lunatics. Some of them were on wheels.
Skateboarders had long hair, listened to grunge and hip hop, wore over-sized flannel and ripped jeans. They looked like steel workers mixed with farmers who had gotten caught up in machinery.
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) May 27, 2017
I remember the first time I ever saw a skate video. It was on an unlabeled VHS and I had to stand in some kids room watching it on a tiny TV, the tape occasionally wavering and causing blurred lines to rush through the screen. It seemed like we were doing something illegal. I think that was in 1989. I think I actually though what we were doing was illegal.
But then last year, this news drops that skateboarding is going to be an Olympic event. I could barely believe it. Here is this incredible sport that literally came from nothing not 30 years ago and is now supposed to be the saving grace of the Olympics. It’s supposed to attract a younger crowd. It certainly will attract me, that I know.
But maybe if the IOC had a bit more foresight. Maybe if in the 90’s they weren’t looking for more money now but instead were looking towards the future, they might have approached guys like Tony Hawk, Danny Way and Jason Ellis and tried their hardest to bring them to the table.
Hopefully it’s not too little too late. We all want the Olympics to thrive, it’s an incredible and timeless event. But I for one also want skateboarding to thrive. It has on it’s own, no problem, but if it helps to save the Olympics that couldn’t hurt.