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Skateboarding 101: Since Rio

Skateboarding 101: Since Rio
Posted at 4:32 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 11:42:42-04

Skateboarding is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo. 

On Aug. 3, 2016, the IOC approved skateboarding (along with baseball/softball, karate, surfing, and sport climbing) for inclusion at the games as part of an initiative that allows host cities to promote sports that are popular within their nation. As a result, the sports were only approved for the Tokyo Olympics, and not automatically added to future Olympic programs. 

In February 2019, the Paris organizing committee recommended that skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing, in addition to breakdancing, be included in the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

New Faces to Watch

The U.S. will have one of the most decorated skaters of all time competing in Nyjah Huston. Huston is an eight-time X Games gold medalist in street and has been competing since 2004.

One of Japan's biggest medal hopefuls is teenager Aori Nishimura, who first won gold in women's street at the X Games at just 15 years old. After dealing with an injury shortly thereafter, she worked her way back and won a Street League World Championship title in 2019. The host nation will also have Yuto Horigome, expected to be Huston's biggest competitor, competing in the men's street contest. 

In park, all eyes are likely to be on Sky Brown, who will be 13 years old when the Games begin. The Japanese-born skater will represent Great Britain having already won a bronze medal at the 2020 Park World Skateboarding Championships.

Japan's Ayumu Hirano, the 2014 and 2018 Olympic silver medalist in halfpipe snowboarding, is trying to compete in park skateboarding in Tokyo (as snowboarding rival Shaun White at one point also was) . The nation also has the top-ranked female park skater in the world in Sakura Yosozumi.

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