Southern California

No Coaches, No Clubs, No Frills. Skateboarding Takes Tokyo 2020 Olympics for the First Time

With news of skateboarding being added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there's no question as to why skateboarders and fans alike are excited for the upcoming games — many of which attended the first U.S. Olympic qualifying event the "Dew Tour" in Long Beach.

Considering that skateboarding was born on the sidewalks of sunny Southern California, there is no doubt the sport will bring a new "vibe" to the Olympic Games next summer. That vibe that will include music, video art and maybe a more chill attitude toward competing.

"It was developed with no adult intervention. It was done not even with adult support," said President of USA Skateboarding, Gary Ream. "It was done truly with the heart on the streets and they created a lifestyle that became world class athletics."

Skateboarding being added to the Olympics means a lot to those in the skating world and some say it could mean a lot for the Olympics as well. Skateboarder Bryce Wettstein says "the idea of the Olympics is definitely so crazy."

Some say skateboarding could possibly bring a more friendly attitude towardcompeting. Wettstein expressed how although the Olympics bring about the competitive side in anyone, skateboarders have a different approach to competition.

"It's just another contest with our best friends and having fun and doing what we love," said Wettstein.

The Tokyo games will likely feature a lot of skaters with Southern California ties — one of which is the No. 1-ranked skater in the world, Nyjah Huston. Huston hails from Laguna Beach.


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Also riding the rails, ramps and stairs in the street style is top-ranked U.S. skater Lacey Baker, originally from Covina. There's also top-ranked 15-year-old Brighton Zeuner from Encinitas, and Tom Schaar from Malibu, who at the age of 12 was the first skater to ever land a 1080 in a competition.

With no age requirement and no compulsory competition components, skateboarding hopes to preserve the creativity and renegade spirit that is the heart of skateboarding.

"Skateboarders didn't grow up having coaches or clubs or anything they belonged to. That's not how they got good at skateboarding. They got good at skateboarding because they found this thing that captured their imagination and they spent all their time learning how to get better," Wettstein said. "It's chasing that feeling of what you get — the freedom that you get from skateboarding."

See more intense skating on YouTube pages by Vans Park Series, Red Bull, Nike and Bryce Wettstein.

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