Skateboarding took a huge step forward when the sport was added to the Olympics. After being approved in 2016, skateboarding was included in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and four medal events were held. Now the question is where does skateboarding go next? In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk shared his thoughts on what the future holds for a sport he loves.
"I see it growing internationally more than ever because the Olympic inclusion has been a catalyst for countries to start supporting skateboarding," Hawk exclusively told PopCulture. "Some countries that had very small scenes, some that didn't have a scene at all, are now inspired to build skate parks and to have, well, obviously, the main goal is to have an Olympic team, but that's okay, that's incidental to just supporting skateboarding in general. And so I'm excited to see new countries, new skaters, and new excitement."
In the 2020 Summer Olympics, Japan was the big winner in skateboarding, winning five medals, and of the four skateboarding events, Japan wold gold medals in three of them. Brazil also fared well in skateboarding, taking home three silver medals, and the United States earned two bronze medals in the Olympic debut.
It looks like skateboarding at the 2020 Olympics was a success as the sport has been added to the 2024 Games in Paris. In a statement, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said: "With this program, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world. We are further reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Games. While we will achieve gender equality already at the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we will see for the first time in Olympic history the participation of the exact same number of female athletes as male athletes. There is also a strong focus on youth."
Earlier this year, the IOC announced skateboarding will be permanently added to the Olympics starting in 2028, which will be held in Los Angeles. The sport began getting recognition when the X Games launched in 1995, and Hawk helped the event become a top attraction, winning 16 X Games medals. His success is part of the reason skateboarding has become a featured sport in the Olympics and will continue to get bigger in the years to come.