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Nathan Talks About Olympic Skateboarding

Nathan Concrete Wave ArticleNathan talks about Olympic skateboarding: Ever since it was announced in August that skateboarding would be a featured sport at the 2020 Olympics in Japan, I have been thinkiNathan Custom Bishop Griptape Vancouverng about how it would impact skaters worldwide. I’m not the only one. Some people think the Olympics will encourage more people to skate and will yield more money for skateparks and training facilities, which will help to create the next generation of Olympians.

Others decry the move and worry about what it will do to the culture of skateboarding. Some point to the inclusion of snowboarding as a taste as to what is to come. No matter what happens, the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics sets the sport/cultural experience on a new course. Make no mistake, the Olympics will change skateboarding. Likewise, the Olympics might be changed by skateboarding in ways they might not have predicted. For example, can you imagine what it’s going to be like if a skate team from North Korea meets up with their U.S. counterparts?

But now that street and transition have a foot in the door for the 2020 Games, why not turn our attention to the 2024 or 2028 games and see what other genres can be brought in? Many people who enjoy the Olympics are fascinated by the speed that athletes reach. It makes sense to bring in downhill and slalom, which have plenty of speed and are very easy to measure. What about high jump and 360 spin-off? These are spectator-friendly and measurable events that I think would also help bolster participation. And if anyone reading is starting to snicker at the thought of a team of 360 specialists, might I remind you that 56 countries competed in table tennis at the Rio Olympics?

No matter what your opinion about skateboarding and the Olympics, the fact is that they are now a reality. With billions of people watching the Olympics, it shines a spotlight on things that would normally never make international headlines. Even though it has been almost two decades since snowboarder Ross Rebagliati won gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, his drug test results still reverberate today. At this year’s Olympics in Rio, swimmer Ryan Lochte’s accomplishments inside the pool were overshadowed by his exploits at a gas station. As of this writing, he is still trying to deal with the mess – as are his lawyers!

Back in the 1970s, NBC launched Saturday Night Live and featured a cast of comedians called the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.” Ironically, many of these people wound up as icons of the comedy world and have been seen by hundreds of millions of people – including during prime time. So as the countdown to Japan begins and athletes start practicing, there is no doubt in my mind the inclusion of skateboarding will either be spectacular or a spectacle, or maybe a little bit of both. If you’ve read this far, you already know that skateboarding at its core is also a little bit of both.

Thanks to Michael Brooke of Concrete Wave Magazine!


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