We’ve been saying it for years. Skateboarding should be an olympic sport. It demonstrates incredible athletic ability, skill, and performance. But will it really be so? Yep! It happened! On August 3rd 2016, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) unanimously voted to include skateboarding in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo!
It was a long journey, campaigning to get skateboarding in to the Olympics, and finally it resulted in this vote, which took place during the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro. The Fédération Internationale Roller Sports (FIRS) was promoting skateboarding and advocating for it to be added to the Olympics. Both the World Skateboarding Federation (WSF) and International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) both agreed that skateboarding was a sport that belonged in the Olympic games. A lawsuit took place in July 2016, where the WSF alleged that the ISF failed to drug test skaters at contests it sanctioned and that it offered favors to an IOC official to block its rival from Olympic negotiations.
In April 2016, the IOC proposed that a commission representing the three groups, as well as the skaters, should run the prospective contests. As announced today, though, Olympic skateboarding will operate under the oversight of the Tokyo 2020 Skateboarding Commission, which consists of chairman Gary Ream, president of the ISF; Simone Masserini, executive director of the FIRS; and Neal Hendrix, pro skater and ISF athlete representative.
The Olympic contests will include men’s and women’s park and street events, with a total of 80 skaters—40 men and 40 women—competing in them. The IOC expects skating to draw a younger audience to the Games. Before it voted, it screened a video that featured a series of skate clips and renderings of the contests themselves.