No can do folks. Yup, the talks to add the freewheeling, anarchy based sport to the 2012 Olympics has failed. Why do you ask? A bit of background first.
In an effort to boost youth appeal to the Olympics, the coordinators of the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee were throwing around the idea of putting skateboarding into the Olympics. The thought was to get the International Cycling Federation to adopt skateboarding as a “wheel based” sport. The ICF has decided to adopt a freestyle BMX version into the Bejing Olympics, but the thought was to hold off and organize a skateboarding event in a better way for the 2012 Olympics in London.
No can do.
Why? Well, in their recent “Congress” in Germany, they waited on the unanimous agreement from various federations around the world.
They didn’t get it. Skaters are generally mixed on the idea of throwing themselves into an extremely organized environment like the Olympics. Some skaters are happy for the exposure, others feel like it will add conformity.
Sure will. You ask this skater what she thinks, it would kill the sport as it is today. I think to a certain extent it’s too commercialized already. With Vans, DC Shoes, O’Neill, Billabong, people want to look feel, touch, smell, and act like Ryan Sheckler, Tony Hawk, and Paul Rodriguez. I can’t quote you what Tony Hawk’s last video game venture Proving Ground made, but I’m sure he’s not lacking. Other skaters like Rob Dyrdek and Ryan Sheckler are gaining more and more exposure not only for themselves but for the sport with their MTV reality shows. At last years Panasonic Open, you couldn’t get within 500 feet of the Panasonic tent because Ryan was in it. Was it the hard skaters there to admire his style? Nope…the 17 year old girls I tell ya…I remember…I was just like em….
My point is, perhaps this is a good thing. The X Games, the AST Dew Tour, these were events that were hard enough to organize on both technical and tone aspects. It’s not something that can be rushed. To introduce it in 2012, even though it’s still 4 years away, too close for comfort.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the exposure for the sport, I really am, but it’s got to be done the right way. Snowboarding is one of the most watched Olympic sports now…why do you ask? Yes folks, his name is Shaun White. Nope, he doesn’t have a website folks, or I would have linked you to him. Perhaps one of the best of his time in both snowboarding and skateboarding, it is a meant to be thing that he came around and revolutionized things the way Tony Hawk did in his time. Kids probably a millionaire at this point, and he’s barely out of his teens.
My point is, I’d be happy if skateboarding made it into the Olympics, just not like this. Don’t rush it, it’s not worth it. Let’s see how BMX goes, and then we’ll worry about 2016. Special thanks to the Evening Standard for the research for this article.