International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirms Skateboarding in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Todays news about skateboarding being included in the 2020 Olympics made some skaters happy and other's sad. The road to the 2020 Olympics may be the last time we can look at skateboarding as it was. I personally think that it was a inevitable thing, and actually thought it would have happened a long time ago in the early 1980's. So how will skateboarding in the Olympics affect the current state of skateboarding? I guess if you are like me in that you don't have enough skills on a skateboard to fight your way out of a paper bag you won't have too much to get used too. Your parks and spots will be more crowded, and there will be more kooks around. Plus your gear might get more expensive. I guess the small to midsize skate organizations might feel the affects of Olympic Gold the most. Small mom and pop skateboard shops and manufacturers might find it hard to compete against Dicks Sporting Goods. Small media companies may become less necessary compared to the global news outlets. You get the idea, NBC might put Screech in there with Bob Costas in order to smooth out Bob's site "cred". And what will happen to women's skateboarding? Will there be a need to nurture the thing that may soon become as common and female ice skating?

Maybe very little will change. If the sport is not well received by the viewing public it may not be included in the Olympics beyond Tokyo 2020. And even if it is permanently picked up, maybe there will be two types of skaters those who do it solely for their own purpose and those who wish to make a career out of it? It might take decades for skateboarding to become engrained in main stream culture like tennis or baseball.

In the end we can say for sure that change is on the horizon for skateboarding. In the past years there have been trace evidence of change with organizations and individuals in the skateboard world. And of course change is normally good, but rarely painless.If you really think about it the Olympics can't change the essence of skateboarding. Most likely the games will bring new people to skateboarding who will love it just like you do and others who will view the sport has a vehicle for their personal advancement (just like it is right now). I will be more than a little "verklempt" seeing some of my friends and heroes walking with other athlete during opening ceremony. Not to mention seeing a skater podium while the national anthem plays.


Vans Skatepark Series

The 2016 Vans Park Series was the largest women's skateboarding event I have ever seen. Sorry to give you the old man background story here but I remember ordering custom Vans high top vans back in 1978 or so (because I liked the one's Jon-Jon Bryan wore), Later on when the shoes were ready I remember being driven by my mom to some warehouse / business (located somewhere in Anaheim or Santa Ana maybe) once we arrived we saw a room full of industrial sewing machines, and thats were I picked up my custom Vans. So to see the scope of what Vans is these days is pretty amazing. Yet Vans somehow manage to retain some of that core skateboarding feeling. Sorry for saying the word "core"! Well what Im trying to say is that Van's supports the skateboarding that I remember, the skateboarding that is important to me.

OK back to the Vans Park Series skateboard contest. Just when you thought you knew what women skatepark contest were like, Hanna Zanzi comes out of nowhere (although some people knew here from a long time ago) put down a stick of dynamite on the deck and blew up girls skateboarding. If you didn't really pay attention you might of missed the whole process go down. I didn't catch it until I heard the her score 87.48, I thought "could that be right?". You might notice that I don't have a lot of pictures of Hanna. Her style is so fast and her lines so different than everyone else, I felt like a wildlife photographer trying to capture a image of a humming bird. Maybe Hanna's runs acted as some kind of a forecast showing us just how much skateboarding will change once they are included in the Olympics? In the end Hanna Zanzi brought a whole new approach to riding a skatepark in a all women's contest. If you didn't see it check out the footage for yourself. Vans Park Series Videos It seems like womens skateboarding took a unexpected turn at the Vans Park Series, and I think it will be fun and exciting to watch for the next turn

Hanna Zanzi wins the Vans Park Series contest
That moment when you realize you came out of nowhere and won the whole thing. Hanna Zanzi placed 1st.
Hanna Zanzi Vans Skatepark Series winner
Hanna Zanzi
Vans Park Series Lizzie Armanto
Lizzie Armanto placed 2nd
Jordyn Barratt
Jordyn Barratt placed 3rd
Poppy Starr Olsen
Poppy Starr Olsen
Nora Vasconcellos Vans Park Series Skateboard Contest
Nora Vasconcellos
 Kisa  Nakamura
Kisa Nakamura, Japan
Skateboard history both past and present, Hanna Zanzi and Laura Thornhill.
Skateboard history about to happen, Hanna Zanzi and Laura Thornhill. I have been shooting skateboarders at skateparks since 1978 or so and I have been shooting female skateboarders for about the same amount of time. The only difference between then and now is the amount of female skateboarders in the world. Back when I first shot skateboarders the only skater girl I knew was Amy Bradshaw. Skaters like Laura Thornhill were larger than life skateboarders who were only seen in the pages of Skateboarder Magazine. Today there are a lot more female skateboarders and they have been steadily pushing women's skateboarding forward.
Sky Brown
I saw Sky Brown skate at Exposure last year, she pretty much stole the show. But not just because she is a cute little kid skating, because she has a huge bag a tricks, style and the guts of a pro skater.


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