Tuesday morning, USA Skateboarding will announce it’s 2022 National Team. But NBC4 was with the team, when they gathered this past weekend for their first “team-building” experience, at the Berrics in downtown Los Angeles.
The team of sixteen, includes eight park skaters and eight street skaters.
“It feels amazing to be named to the national team again and make it on this list with all these heavy hitters and exchange that energy with all these great dudes” said Dashawn Jordan of North Hollywood.
More than half the team lives in California, including Nyjah Huston, the top ranked skater in the world.
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“It’s an honor to be a part of the national team” says Huston.
“It’s still something that is so new to skating. It’s another aspect and a feeling that makes you want to try harder, and practice harder and just go for it as much as possible.”
Jagger Eaton, a proud Arizonan, moved to Encinitas before the Tokyo games, where he won the first ever bronze medal in the men’s street event.
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“My biggest take away from the Olympic games is, there is no contest like the Olympic games!”
He says the progression in skateboarding right now is “crazy.”
“We are constantly working. Everyone on this team is looking to dominate what we do” says Eaton.
Over the next two years, there will be a whole lot of shredding; grinding; dropping in and wiping out as skateboarders try to qualify for the 2024 summer games.
“Of course I am thinking about Paris. That’s a huge goal of mine to make it to Paris” said Heimana Reynolds, another 2020 Oympian.
“ Look at the team, everyone here is so good. All skaters here today, and out there, anyone can make it. Looking forward to trying to do my best.”
The team will have three new members, including 15 year old park skater, Gavin Bottger from Oceanside.
“Feels insane. I am just super happy. Stoked.”
The youngest member of the team, street skater Paige Heyn, is 14 years old, and says she has felt very welcomed by the veterans.
“Everyone is so uplifting, always” says Heyn.
“Super cool to have them on the team. These Young bright faces. Always smiling. Always having a good time. Really Sick to have them here and on the team with us” said Reynolds.
Despite being on the competitive circuit since he was a young teen, Reynolds says he still feels the “buzz” of learning new tricks.
“Everyday I skate I fall more and more in love with it” says Reynolds.
Jordan, who just missed making the 2020 team, said even at this elite level, competition is a bit different in the skateboarding world.
“It’s just pushing each other to the next level. Having that energy that is just flowing, says Jordan, “It’s a dope feeling to have and it never gets old.”
While the competition to get to the 2024 games, will be intense, Olympian and 2022 national team member Zion Wright said it is really just about having fun.
“All the fun. Cause that’s what we do. That’s what skating is we just love to have fun.”