As the forefather of bringing skateboarding to a mainstream audience, Tony Hawk is the perfect person to weigh in on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He has a perspective on how it will impact our culture that the average skater probably hasn’t taken into consideration. Yesterday, Tony sat down with retired NFL player Arian Foster for an interview on the “What Now?” podcast and gave a good deal of insight on what he’s expecting from skateboarding’s Olympic debut.

The Olympics, it definitely has its issues. And there are a lot of elements that come with that that people don’t think are positive. The idea that it is somehow conforming to this team sport ethos. And that we somehow have to tame what we do. And also the people that are going to run the Olympics are not necessarily experienced in skateboarding. All of that stuff, it gets messy.

But at the core of that, you’re going to see skate teams from the most unlikely places. That’s exciting to me. I’ve been to a few of these places. I know that there’s going to be a solid skate team from Ethiopia. There’s going to be a solid skate team from Cambodia. That’s crazy, right? South Africa, you know what I mean? For them to have this international venue to show how truly worldwide skateboarding has become, that’s exciting for me.

And it’s only going to grow from there. For a lot of people, I think that the Olympics are the apex of selling out. But I think that they don’t realize that it’s not going to be choreography, goofy costumes, and ice skating. Snowboarding is the highlight of the Winter Games now. That’s what skateboarding is going to be for the Summer Games. I guarantee it. It already has the coolfactor.

You can view the entire interview above. Jump to the 36:40 mark if you just want to hear the bit about skateboarding in the Olympics.

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