Feature | Skateboarding

Olympic skateboarding at Tokyo 2020: Top five things to know

Who are the skateboarders  at Tokyo 2020 in 2021? When and where will Olympic skateboarding take place? What is the Olympic history of skateboarding? Find out here.

By Ed Knowles ·

Skateboarding will be at the Olympic Games for the first time in its history at Tokyo 2020. It promises to be an exciting and momentous occasion. So, who are the skateboarders to watch? And when will competition take place, and where will it be held?

Here is our guide to the top things about Olympic skateboarding at Tokyo 2020.

Street skaters Leticia Bufoni of Brazil and Nyjah Huston of USA get hyped for the Olympics with some themed sunglasses

Top Olympic skateboarders at Tokyo 2020

Street

With 4.5m followers on Instagram USA’s Nyjah Huston is one of the best contest street skaters ever. He has been nominated for the illustrious Thrasher Magazine ‘Skater of the Year’ award several times but never won. Perhaps an Olympic gold medal could be persuasive?

Home fans will be hoping that Yuto Horigome of Japan can spring a surprise. The Tokyo-born skater finished runner up to Huston at the World Skate/SLS World Championships in 2019.

One of Nyjah’s big friends, Leticia Bufoni of Brazil is one of the favourites for victory in the women’s section of street. A keen fitness fanatic, Leticia has been a consistent performer at the World Skate/SLS World Championships since winning the title in 2015.

Bufoni has been under pressure in recent years from number of younger competitors like fellow Brazilians Pamela Rosa and teenager Rayssa Leal, plus Japanese skater Aori Nishimura.

Candy Jacobs of the Netherlands will also be in contention after signing a surprise deal with Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse skate company.

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Park

Team GB’s Sky Brown put down some performances in 2019 that mean she is effectively guaranteed a spot at Tokyo 2020.

In the summer of 2020, aged just 11, she suffered a bad fall that left her in hospital. The pandemic has meant we haven’t seen the youngster compete since. But her Instagram feed suggests that she is heading back to full fitness and should be one of the main reasons to tune into park skateboarding.

One of Sky’s heroes, Lizzie Armanto grew up in California in the USA but chose to represent Finland at the Games. Lizzie is the only female to complete Tony Hawk’s infamous 360 loop.

USA’s Heimana Reynolds finished off 2020 as the top ranked male in park skating with Tom Schaar highly rated. also hotly Fellow American and triple Olympic champion Shaun White won’t make a switch to the summer Games though after confirming he will concentrate on competing in snowboarding.

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Olympic skateboarding competition format at Tokyo 2020

Street

The course should look familiar to anyone who has been to a skatepark before with features that echo those found in urban sites around the world.

A time limit is set but, otherwise skaters are free to choose whatever route they want around the stairs, handrails, curbs, benches, walls, and slopes.

Some factors in working out the scores are: difficulty of the tricks, height, speed, originality, execution, and composition.

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Park

Park skating has its roots firmly in the drained swimming pools that skaters first used in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles when skateboarding first emerged.

The smooth bowls have steep curved inclines meaning skaters can achieve massive height and have the freedom to put together a run as they see fit.

Again, the competitors are scored for the difficulty and the originality of their tricks.

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Olympic skateboarding schedule at Tokyo 2020

Sunday 25 July

Men's Street

Monday 26 July

Women's Street

Wednesday 4 August

Women's Park

Thursday 5 August

Men's Park

Olympic skateboarding history

Tokyo 2020 will mark the first ever appearance of skateboarding at the OIympic Games. It has also been proposed to be a part of the programme at Paris 2024.

It made an appearance at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

Street skateboarder Nyjah Huston doing a demo at the Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires

Olympic skateboarding venue at Tokyo 2020

The Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo will host the very first Olympic skateboarding contest.