Illustration by @Henry_Jones
It’s safe to say the announcement yesterday from the International Olympic Committee to include Skateboarding in the 2020 Summer Olympics, prompted skateboarders to voice their opinions. Allegiances were forged and comment wars were sparked, as lines were drawn by skaters taking sides on the issue. The first skateboarders to come out generally did so to voice their disapproval, asking for a moment of silence for skateboarding’s core values. With that being said, some began celebrating in blind support, as if skateboarding had finally reached the global platform it deserves. In reality, most skateboarders displayed mixed emotions with even a larger body of skateboarders remaining silent. Either way, as we await more opinions to roll in we wanted to put the full spectrum in one place. Enjoy.
Sean Malto:“I always thought it was funny when people would say skateboarding in the Olympics would ruin skateboarding. I’m like, really? You’re going to let skating being in the Olympics ruin it? I thought we all got into skating because we loved skateboarding. I’m just trying to skate and have fun whatever setting I am in. You want to put me in the streets? Awesome. If I so happen to go to the Olympics, I am just going to skate and have fun. I don’t think you should let the Olympics ruin whatever you’re doing. I think it’s all just personal.”
Walker Ryan: _“_I look at skateboarding’s inclusion in the Olympics in two different ways. On one hand, I think it’s lame. Being perceived as an Olympic Sport has the potential to change skateboarding and make it more serious or something different. It could turn skateboarding into an activity or sport that parents around the world push their kids to do because it means they could make it to the Olympics. The masses who pick up skateboards in the future might be motivated to do it for the wrong reasons. But on the other hand, I think it’s rad, because I want to see my peers recognized as some of the best athletes in the world – which in my opinion is what they are. I want to see more people acknowledge how awesome skateboarding is. I want to see Luan [Oliveira], Ishod [Wair], or Bob [Burnquist] heralded as heroes for their country. I think there’s something cool about that. Why shouldn’t our fellow skaters earn Olympic Gold medals? And maybe with the reach the Olympics will bring, there will be kids who change skateboarding for the better. Maybe some kid in China will become the next Heath Kirchart, or some kid in Namibia will become the next Eric Koston. And maybe more girls will get into skating, or maybe nothing will change and skateboarding will remain the thing we each love to do for our own reasons.”
_Tom Remillard: _“I really hope that slalom is a main event and that Poland makes a skateboarding team, so I can join.”
Steve Berra: “Skateboarding is such a subjective thing so it will be interesting to see how it’s all going to work out and I don’t think they’ve quite figured that out yet, but they have a few years to get it right. Hopefully it’s better than what some have done in the past. Now, whether it’s good or bad for skateboarding, well, that’s a subjective question for an already subjective culture. There are right answers on both sides of the aisle. It’s like saying to someone who supports Trump you’re voting for Hillary or someone who supports Hillary you’re voting for Trump, or someone who likes vert instead of street, or no complies instead of flip tricks, or manuals instead of handrails. There are a million reasons they could give you why your way is bad and their way is good and vice versa, and because of its subjectivity who is to say who is wrong? I just look at it this way; it’s one event every four years, Archery certainly doesn’t seem to be effected with its inclusion into the Olympics, but I’m not someone who is into archery so I can’t say that for a fact, but things change. Skateboarding has changed so much since when I first started and I still love it. Nothing ever stays the same forever, that is the nature of the world. I don’t think it’s worth getting upset over an event every four years because every moment you spend crying about it or complaining about it is a moment not spent on trying to create something better than it, which I think is a much better use of people’s time. If it’s cool it’s cool. If it turns out to suck, then it sucks. Either way I don’t think it will change what I do.”
_Braydon Szafranski: _“Gang of misfits… not athletes!! Skateboarding is a crime, not a sport.”
_Tyler, the Creator: _“I think it’s tight skating is at the Olympics this year, [it's not, rather 2020 Summer Olympics]. Finally, it opens the door for skateboarders to be considered real athletes and allow the younger generation to really make some real money like the other sports stars. Anyone against this is stupid, it’s beautiful, then this opens the door to maybe put [skating] into schools and things like that. It sucks that a lot of skateboarders think making money or growing is such a negative. Being too cool isn’t cool when you can’t feed yourself at 40, [laughs]. But just my two cents. I hope this goes well, it’s amazing and people can still have fun skating and go [on] with their normal lives regardless of who’s participating in the Olympics. I think that’s what people forget overall. And shout out to all the kids who turned their hobby that they fell in love with into something they can make revenue from. It’s not considered a job when you doing what you love and can buy shit with it!”
Don Brown (SVP Marketing at Sole Technology)_: _“All the debate about Skateboarding and Surfing being included in the 2020 Olympics has taken focus off of the other two sports… “Cleavage Climbing” and “whack my ass with a softball bat while I get kicked in the dick.”
J Grant Brittain (TSM Photographer)_: _“I like the “idea” of it. Kinda weird that the skateboarding I knew from the 70s and 80s when no one cared except skateboarders, has come to the World’s biggest sporting event. Also weird that it will be presented side by side with synchronized swimming.”
Yoon Sul: “I’m 50/50 on this topic. On one end, knowing the Olympics, skateboarding will be run by a non-skateboarding committee… And we all know the outcome of that. On the other hand, it lets us see how far skateboarding has reached and will reach across the world. On a side note, if Jamie Foy is there, I hope he gets an endorsement deal with Subway… I’d love to see Jamie Foy in a Subway commercial hucking $5 foot longs for USA.”
Grant Schubert _(*Filmmaker): _*”Skateboarding will remain to be what it always has been to me. Nothing can ever change that.”
Now it’s your chance to voice your opinion below with our live Twitter poll below.
— The Berrics (@berrics) August 4, 2016