Skateboarding is set to make its debut at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with British skateboarders now vying for a place in the GB team.
The Street League Skateboarding finals will determine who will be participating in the games. in Tokyo 2020 games. The finals will be held this May at the Copperbox Arena in Queen Elizabeth Park, , a multi-sport venue where specialized concrete along with unique skating elements will be temporarily installed.
The purpose of the custom layout is to help competitors take advantage of the space while performing tricks.
Alessio, from London Skateboarding, has been one of the strongest advocates for the sport finally being in the Olympics. Throughout his 30 years of skateboarding, he’s witnessed how the public villainized the sport, he says. In an interview with EastLondonLines he said: “As a representation, as an event, it’s full of all the glittery-ness of a huge business, you can feel it through the interviews, cameras everywhere, people, fans.”
With the SLS finals taking place in London, and the Olympics recognizing skateboarding as a professional sport, the skate scene in London is receiving plenty of notoriety. Organisations such as England Skateboarding have also contributed towards the exposure, by aiming to build 30 skateparks around England, some of which will be in Hackney.
In a statement by Helena Long, a professional skateboarder in London who also participated in the opening of the Copperbox Arena, she said she thinks the Olympics will influence skateboarding worldwide. She added: “I think that the Olympics will really put skateboarding on a very accessible platform. It’ll hopefully be a kickstarter for those that are interested in taking up skateboarding but previously may not have had the confidence or haven’t been exposed to the worldwide community that is there for anyone and everyone who wants to join and take up skateboarding.”
As for skateboarding being a professional sport, she added: “I personally think there’s more to skateboarding that one’s ability to land technically hard tricks in a very short time. There’s style and creativity that I think is sometimes lost in a competitive scenario. I hope those who start skating based on exposure from Olympic coverage do it for fun and also have the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of skateboarding outside a competition format.”