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Skateboarding

Skateuse en pleine descente de rampe.

Skateboarding is a young and spectacular sport that developed in the US in the 1950s as surf culture was taking off. It was then part of the underground, alternative culture of the 1980s, going hand in hand with the values of freedom, rebellion and thrill seeking. The sport continued to develop and became more widely accessible at the start of the 21st century, proving a huge hit among young people.

Brief overview of the rules

The world’s greatest skateboarders will face each other at the Olympic Games, competing in the two most popular and spectacular disciplines: park and street. Athletes must carry out their most impressive tricks, meeting criteria for the degree of difficulty, style, speed and range of moves.

The events consist of two rounds, prelims and finals.

The park competition takes place on a varied course combining bowls and numerous bends, which the athletes use to gather speed and perform tricks mid-air.

The skateboarders are judged by the height and speed of the tricks they carry out during jumps, as well as their capacity to use the entire surface and all obstacles. They perform three 40‑second runs, with the best of three counting as their final round score.

Street events take place on a straight ‘street-like’ course with stairs, handrails, etc. set up to resemble the urban environments where skateboarding started out. Athletes perform a range of tricks and are also judged on how they control their board during the two 45‑second runs and five tricks they carry out.

Olympic history

After making its debut on the Olympic stage at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics, skateboarding is going up a gear by appearing at the Tokyo 2020 Games as a new sport. It is also one of the four new sports proposed by Paris 2024. This young and spectacular discipline is a breath of fresh air for the Olympic programme and will interest many spectators. The IOC will make its final decision on the integration of this new sport in December 2020.

International federation : World Skate

http://www.worldskate.org/

© Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

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