In the Olympic Games, skateboarding celebrated its premiere as an independent discipline. The sport celebrated all the spotlight it could get during the games, but not all skaters are satisfied with this change. It took a long time before skateboarding was officially recognized and found its way to the Olympics. Some skaters believe that once they include skateboarding in the list of events at the games, it will lose its subculture status.
Enthusiasts are scared that skating will become another commercial sport. Therefore, the professionals are skeptical about the surge in popularity that skating gathered during the Olympics. One of such athletes is the US professional Peter Ramondetta, who ultimately said it’s not an event for the games. Other observers of the scene believe that more popularity and thus more money would be good for the sport. The heated discussions are not unexpected, because, like no other sport, skateboarding stands for individual freedom and creativity.
Strict Rules Contradict Life Motto
Skaters don’t like rules, but those are strict in the Olympic Games. It starts with clothing. However, outfits are an essential part of the skating scene and their philosophy of life. Now, however, the skaters are told what to wear in the competition and many participants were against that. The extensive tests for prohibited substances in the body were also considered as a possible problem, which put off many participants right from the start. Therefore, experts raised the question of how accurate the results can be.
The Subculture Is Delimiting Itself
The skateboarding subculture is very important to many enthusiasts. They still see themselves as social outsiders who live by their own rules and codes. That doesn’t fit at all with a mass event such as the Olympic Games. After all, skaters still struggle with loads of rejection in public spaces. Many people consider their sport to be noise pollution or even vandalism. Security workers still keep them away; skate stoppers prevent them from practicing their sport on steps or benches.
Before the start of the competition, there were two favourites among male athletes. One of them is Nyjah Huston, who is the best-earning skateboarder globally. He has always been in the top three over the past decade. Yūto Horigome was considered his biggest competitor. He had managed to beat Huston several times, and he managed to do that again in the Olympics. At least visually, the skater did not correspond to the dominant cliché and proved that skateboarding has become more professional. That attitude also benefited the women in the Olympics. Their sport has long been considered a wallflower as skateboarding has always been dominated by men. But in the extensive broadcasts, the women were able to prove that their skills are in no way inferior to those of men.
Skateboarding is on the way to becoming an even more popular discipline. This tendency is clearly visible from the number of media and reporters during the skateboarding events. There were so many that some of them even had to sit on the stairs of the press box. Such attention can only mean good for the sport in the long term.