Tuesday Oct 13, 2015

Skateboarders fighting against Olympic Games with petition

More than 5000 angry skateboarders have signed a petition pleading with the International Olympic Committee to keep their sport out of the Olympics.

Skateboarding was officially recommended last month and both street and park events could become part of the Games for Tokyo 2020. A decision will be made before Rio 2016 next summer.

With the success of snowboarding and BMX at the Olympics in recent years, and the IOC keen to embrace sports with a strong youth following, skateboarding is expected to make the grade.

Olympic involvement will change the face of skateboarding

Skate legends Tony Hawk and Shaun White have voiced their support for skateboarding’s Olympic dream, but many people believe that the soul of skate culture will be lost if it joins the Games.

“Skateboarding is not a ‘sport’ and we do not want skateboarding exploited and transformed to fit into the Olympic programme,” says the petition.

“We feel that Olympic involvement will change the face of skateboarding and its individuality and freedoms forever.”

One other major concern for skateboarders is how they will be represented on the global stage.

Neither the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) nor the World Skateboarding Frederation (WSF) are recognized by the IOC yet and the official bid was put forward by the International Roller Skating Federation.

There was similar outrage when snowboarding became part of the International Ski Federation and many boarders still see the X Games as the pinnacle of their sport.

But WSF President Tim McFerran, who oversaw the World Skateboarding Championships at the Kimberly Diamond Cup last weekend, believes Olympic exposure will only benefit skating.

The Olympics will be a tremendously positive boost for skateboarding around the world.

“I think the Olympics will be a tremendously positive boost for skateboarding around the world,” he said.

"Opening up the contests to allow skateboarders from around the world to compete provides an element of excitement that we perhaps don’t have in the log jam of US contests.  

"Getting more people involved in skateboarding and supporting youth who want to take up skateboarding is our passion.”

Do you think skateboarding should join the Olympics, or will it have a negative effect on the sport? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

Tony Hawk has long been calling for skateboarding to get its chance in the Olympics. PIC: ESPN/Bryce Kanights

Channels: Extreme.com, Skateboard