Australia and Skateboarding
The sport was created by surfers in California in 1950. When the waves were too flat, surfers started to attach wheels to the underside of their surfboards to ‘surf on land’; and skateboarding was born. Eventually skateboarding made its way to Australia as part of pop culture, and has gradually evolved into a competitive sport.
Skateboarders such as Renton Miller and Shane O’Neill helped put Australia on the international skateboarding map. Miller has been skateboarding for almost 30 years and is a former World Cup and National Champion. Shane O’Neill has been a regular fixture on the global skate scene since 2010. The Melbourne-born rider was crowned the Skate League World Champion in 2016.
Miller and O'Neill have help set the platform for a number of young skaters to thrive both in Australia and abroad. One of Australia’s youngest riders Keegan Palmer was the Under 18 Australian Champion when he was nine years old.
In 2010, 13-year-old Poppy Olson was voted as one of the Top 12 Most Influential Girl Skaters in the World. Leading the charge for Australian female skaters, she claimed her first world title in 2014 and was crowned the overall 2014 point-score winner of the 14 & Under Female World Cup series. The current National Women’s Bowl Riding Champion has joined the elite group of pro skaters around the world that are frequently competing on a world stage.
In the sport’s debut at the Tokyo Games, Keegan Palmer claimed the inaugural gold medal for the men’s Park event. Palmer’s dominance was such, that either his first or third runs in the final would have secured the Olympic crown. Australia also boosted two fifth places from Kieran Woolley in the men’s Park and Poppy Olsen in the women’s Park.
Elite and amateur skateboarding competitions are regularly held across the globe while top national competitions include the Australian Bowl-Riding Championships, Wolves of Street and Bowl-a-Rama.
Tokyo 2020 was the first time Skateboarding became included in the Olympic Games and will return for Paris 2024.
Skateboarders are judged mainly on the degree of difficulty of tricks, consistency in completing tricks and the overall routine. Speed and scale can make a significant difference in scores of the same trick. In the skateboarding competition at Tokyo 2020, there will be two disciplines: park and street.
For the park competition, a course called a "combination pool," which contains bowls and pools in a complex combination with ramps and course bends, will be used. For the street competition, a street-like course with stairs, curbs, slopes and rails will be used.
Skateboarding Olympic Merchandise
One Minute, One Sport | Skateboarding
Video courtesy of tokyo2020.org / olympicchannel.com
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