Among a host of other unusual athletic competitions, skateboarding will make its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. According to the International Olympic Committee, skateboarding found its roots in sidewalk surfing, and the inclusion of the sport in the 2020 Olympics highlights its place as an essential part of street culture.
The sport of skateboarding can be loosely summarized as a person riding a short, narrow board with two small wheels attached to the bottom of either end, and this apparatus is used to perform tricks including jumps (called “ollies”), flips and mid-air spins.
While the origins of skateboarding are unclear, it is generally recognized that the sport began in the 1940s on the west coast of the U.S.A. By the 1950s, a composite clay replaced the previous use of metal for wheels on a skateboard. The sport slowly grew in popularity, becoming quite popular among younger generations, and by the 1980s, skateboarding had become an indispensable part of common street culture.
According to the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo Olympics skateboarding competition will feature two disciplines: street and park. There will be both a men’s and women’s competition featured for both of the different disciplines.
The street portion of the competition will be held on a straight, “street-like” course featuring stairs, handrails, curbs, benches, walls and slopes. Thus, each skateboarder will be given the opportunity to individually maneuver the course while demonstrating their range of skills and tricks.
The scoring system will involve a panel of judges that takes into account the degree of difficulty of the tricks, height, speed, originality, execution and the composition of moves, before giving an overall score to the athlete. Three men and three women will then have the opportunity to medal in the street portion of the skateboarding competition.
The second discipline that will be featured is park. According to the International Olympics Committee, the park competitions will take place on a hollowed-out course featuring a series of complicated curves, some resembling large dishes and dome-shaped bowls. Each skateboarder will then be given a certain amount of time to demonstrate their skills in this arena. They will then be judged by a panel of experts, who will award them a score. Three men and three women will also have the opportunity to win a gold, silver or bronze medal in the park portion of the skateboarding competition.
The first skateboarding competition of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held on July 26.
News Source: theasburycollegian.com
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