RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The sights and sounds of skateparks are rolling into living rooms across the world. Skateboarding is making its debut as an Olympic sport in Tokyo.
“I definitely think that it being in the Olympics will make it go even further than it has already,” said Joe Davis. “Just bring more people in, make it more mainstream, make skaters be able to make a better living off of doing what they really want to do.”
Twelve U.S. skateboarders will be competing in two men’s and two women’s events.
“A lot of people just don’t realize the athletics and, like, skill that goes behind, and like how much dedication people have,” Davis said. “It’s just as much of a sport as any other one really.”
Sophia Pena is part of the group Skate Forward, which aims to make skateboarding more inclusive. She said she hopes the women’s skateboarding events will lead to more inclusivity in the sport.
“I hope when you see it in the Olympics and you see women — women feel more comfortable getting involved in the subcultures, and making it more welcoming to queer, or basically anybody that’s not a straight white man,” Pena said.
Pena and other group members said they’re very excited for the sport to make its debut.
PJ White said the Olympic debut takes it from an extreme sport to an “actual sport” in the eyes of many. He hopes more people will become involved with the sport after seeing it in the Olympics.
“We should be more than just the X-Games, and also involved in what they call ultimate sports around the world. And to me, that is a great honor for our whole sport,” White said.
It’s giving skateboarders the chance to dream of an Olympic gold medal for the first time.
“This will reach places where skateboarding was kind of looked at as you can’t become a champion,” White said.