What does it mean for the subculture?
So it is official! Skateboarding is now considered an “Olympic Sport”. This comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last night that skateboarding has been approved to be added to the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic games; alongside baseball/softball, karate, sports climbing and surfing.
The decision to introduce skateboarding to the Olympic program has left that skate community divided, thousands taking to social media to voice their opinion. Many people argue that skateboarding isn’t actually a sport but more of an art form in which there are no boundaries and individuals are free to express themselves in a way that they wish to do so. From an activity which was once seen as an outcast, underground subculture, (in which the mainstream wanted nothing to do with) to becoming an Olympic sport, has certainly come as a shock to many.
While others are welcoming the Olympic Games with open arms, the likes of skate legend Tony Hawk who took to his twitter account to say “I’m already preparing for Tokyo: conducting drills, rehearsing routines, changing diets, and [most importantly] reversing the aging process.” Many see the Olympics as a good thing, doesn’t it just mean more money? So potentially more funding for building more and improving skate parks as well as adding the sport to schools P.E curriculum.
Skateboarding is ever growing and evolving. If this is the path in which skateboarding is taking, so be it. Maybe skateboarding taking to the mainstream isn’t such a bad thing. Hopefully we won’t get kicked out of spots so often and have the police called on us, now skateboarding is seen as a “real prestigious sport”. We have got to keep skateboarding in the hands of real skaters and away from the corporate companies that use the Olympics as a method of exploitation. Skateboarding will forever be what you make it, and Tokyo 2020 can just be considered another contest like that of the X-Games, which also occurs every 4 years for those who wish to get involved.
Written by Savannah Keenan