Which skaters are on the USA national team at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics?
The first ever US Olympic skateboarding team was announced, and it ranges from teenagers to accomplished 30-somethings. Competition begins on 25 July.
Tony Hawk, Mark Gonzales, Rodney Mullen... Those are some of the names that brought skateboarding to the pinnacle of sports. Now skateboarding, which appeared 70 years ago in the parks and streets of Southern California, will be included in the Olympics for the first time ever.
The 12 members of the first US Olympic skateboarding team were announced some weeks ago. There will be two disciplines represented, street and park, each with men's and women's events. Street will be held on a course that mimics a real street, while park will take place on a hollowed-out, bowl-like course.
The qualifying period was initially set to run from 1 January 2019 to 31 May 2020, but it was interrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead the window ended on June 29, 2021.
Some skaters still don’t warm to the competitive aspects of what they consider a friendly lifestyle pursuit, but the five-time world champion Nyjah Huston, the most famous face among the 12 Olympians, spoke about the compatibility of the two sides of the sport.
“I love skateboarding because it’s the funniest thing on Earth, not only if you’re one of us getting ready to skate in the Olympics, or just a kid out there skating in your skate park,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Josh Friedberg, the USA Skateboarding’s CEO, said that “the weight of what we’ve accomplished is finally sinking in” after he introduced the team.
“It was an overwhelming and exhilarating day to be here, to have the chance to work on something since you were 13 years old, and to finally have the chance to share that with the world,” an emotional Friedberg added.
Who will represent the USA at the Tokyo Olympics?