The 2020 Olympics are fast approaching, and I’m sure you know why we’re excited. The upcoming Olympic Games will include some sports that have never been shown on the world stage. Of course, the sport that Braille is most excited about is skateboarding.
Skateboarding is an art-form. It consists of innovation, invention, culture, music, photography and much more. With the addition of skateboarding in the 2020 Olympic Games, there is now a platform to showcase these important aspects of skateboarding to the entire world.
Ultimately, this will end up pushing a whole new generation of kids to start skateboarding. This lines up perfectly with Braille’s mission to push skateboarding all over the world.
While there is no doubt an artistic element to skateboarding, the foundation of skateboarding is through physical exertion. A skateboarder’s body absorbs impact and has to be able to pull off some amazing maneuvers. They’re bodies have to be in shape.
With the physicality of skateboarding being so crucial, it only makes sense to have these skateboarding athletes compete for glory. After all, they are competing with the rest of the world’s greatest athletes at the Olympic Games.
Integrating a Culture-Based Sport into the Olympics
To qualify for skateboarding in the 2020 Olympic Games, a skater must enter and compete in World Skate Sanctioned Events. This is to accumulate points toward Olympic qualifying. There are only a handful of these events throughout a set time period.
World Skate is the International Federation that governs skateboarding for the Olympics. World Skate sanctions certain events at different point levels for skateboarders to participate in and earn points. The skaters will qualify based on their own merit rather than countries selecting their own Olympic Teams.
Countries will name National teams such as USA Skateboarding and the Brazilian Confederation of Skateboarding (CBSK). But, being on a National team doesn’t automatically get you a spot in the 2020 Olympics. Skateboarders on a National team will still need to qualify by earning points in the system to compete at the Olympic Games.
National Teams still provide a handful of benefits to their skaters, as the USA National Team for skateboarding supports skateboarders through their program as a national governing body to help them on their path to qualifying towards the Olympic Games.
Skateboarders will all have the ability to earn points towards qualifying for the 2020 Olympics through a variety of competitions. National Championships, Continental Championships, 5-Star Events, Pro Tour Events, and World Championships are the competitions that skateboarders will need to enter in order to score points.
The first qualifying season started in January 2019 continued until the 30th of September, 2019. The second qualifying season began on October 1st, 2019, and will continue until May 31st, 2020.
In the first qualifying season, the two best scores from each skater are used to calculate the skateboarders’ overall score/ranking. In the second qualifying season, the five best scores from each skater are used.
At the completion of the second qualifying season, those scores ( two best from the first season, five best from the second season) will be added up and equate to the skater’s Olympic World Skateboard Ranking. With these rankings set in stone, this list will determine who is eligible to compete in the Olympic Games. Quotas are also applied to this list to help determine eligibility.
No more than three skateboarders from any single country, in any one event, can compete. This means at most there can only be three skaters per country, per event. This allows more countries to have a chance to compete at the Olympic Games. This is in the event that the top 10 ranked skateboarders are all from the same country. With the implementation of these quotas, it is expected that anywhere from 10-12 countries will be competing at each of the skateboarding events in the Olympics.
There is also a maximum of 20 skateboarders per event. In these 20 skateboarders, all five continental regions must be represented. For example, if there is a skater in 20th place while Asia doesn’t have a continental representative in the rankings, that 20th place skateboarder would get bumped and the highest-ranked Asian skateboarder would replace them to ensure that continental quota is met.
While the point system is the main factor in determining Olympic eligibility, there are some exceptions. For instance, World Championship events in 2020 will be direct qualifiers for the Olympic Games. This means if a skater places first, second, or third, in one of these events, they will compete at the Olympics regardless of how many points that skater has.
It was set up this way in the event that a skateboarder gets hurt and is unable to compete. If the injured skateboarder gets better and is ready to skate at the World Championships, they can still have a chance. All they have to do is make it on the podium at one of these events.
Having the system set up this way allows access to any skateboarder wanting to participate. With the qualifying seasons being open to any skateboarder, we will start to see more and more skateboarders competing and the level of skill increasing as time goes on. That’s right! The OLYMPICS are pushing skateboarding! Who’d have thunk it?
If you are familiar with the Street League format for skateboarding competition, the Olympic Street format will be easy to comprehend. Each skateboarder gets two runs and five best-trick attempts. The top four scores for each skateboarder will determine their standing.
The format for Park events will consist of three 45-second runs, and each skater’s best run will determine their ranking.
Here’s a quick run-down of some upcoming Olympic Qualifying Events:
- Dew-Tour: Considered a 5-Star Event, skateboarders will be able to earn points for Park and Street.
- Street League: Considered a Pro Tour Event, skateboarders will be able to earn points for Street.
- Street League World Championships: Considered a World Championship event, skateboarders who place in the top 3 will earn a spot at the Olympics. This takes place in London, in May 2020.
- Park World Championships: Considered a World Championship Event, skateboarders will be able to earn points toward Park events in China, in May 2020.
The first-ever Skateboarding Olympians will be determined by June 2020. This team will go on to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. At the end of the day, it won’t really matter which country comes out on top. While cheering for your country is great, Skateboarding might be different in the 2020 Olympics. It will be remembered by the tricks, the bails and the energy!
We’re looking forward to the crazy tricks that are going to go down. While these Olympic Games, on some level, will bring national pride into skateboarding, what excites us the most, is the fact that skateboarders worldwide will be leveling up, progressing, and showing the world what can be done with a piece of wood on wheels…FIRST TRY!
If you’re new to skateboarding and looking to improve your skills, definitely check out Skateboarding Made Simple. It’s the most detailed lesson plan for skateboarding that exists. With 9 different volumes, you’ll go from learning how to ride on a board, to skating skateparks and landing more advanced flatground tricks in no time!