Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Skateboarding in the Olympics - What do you think?
There is a good chance that we will see skateboarding coming to the Olympics in 2012.
We are curious to know what some of you think about this push to put skating in the Olympics.
Here are some of the current opinions floating around:
1. The Olympics is just another way for corporations to capititalize on skating.
2. It's a sell-out to mainstream
3. Skating is form of self-expression not a way to make a living
4. The Olympics mentality flies in the face of why we skate
More skateparks !!!
1. The more mainstream an activity becomes the more facilities- if skating becomes as mainstream as baseball or basketball then expect to see a skatepark in every district of a city. The OIympics will have cities clamoring to lay claim that they are the official place for training skaters.
Every district of San Jose, CA is slated to have it's own skate park. Why? It's the "me too" mentality. Every council member of San Jose wanted their district to be as competitive and relavant as the other districts in the city. That's ten skate parks ! With one giant regional park.
Argument against: Skating is much more then just going to a skatepark.
2. Empowerment of youth: Skating is an activity that is rather popular among the "harder element" of society largely because those who don't skate consider skating a criminal like acitivity. So what happens? We get like criminal like behavior associated with skating. As skating becomes mainstream we see families get involved (because there are skate parks for them to go to) with the sport as well and skaters get respect.
Yesterdays session at Menlo Park, CA. There were a lot of small kids with their families out skating not just the usual crowd of "hard-core" skaters. Skating should not be exclusive to just the "hard-core" element. I am all for skating being a great way of getting out ones aggressions and youthful anger. We've all been there growing up but at some point we need to put a little more family into the skating scene rather then it being an activity that is reserved for youth trying to escape their parents or whatever.
3. Long overdue respect: There are a lot of skaters that would say that they could give a rip about what people think of their activity. That's the beauty of skating or any individual-based activity. It's more about what that activity means to you then what you think others think of what you do. However, EVERYONE at some point has a need for affirmation especially when your growing up. As much as we try to hide this need, it's there. It's time that skaters get the respect that has been given to other athletes- excessively. Skating will always remain true to its roots because it's a passionate form of self-expression rather then a way to make millions of dollars. It's time to show case the talents of our youth rather then continue to reinforce and continue to propagate the existing stereotype.
Tony Hawk: Tony Hawk grew up competing and was raised and promoted by the tireless support of his father. His father understood what skating meant to Tony and as result he took Tony all over the place to skate and compete. Imagine how many other Tony Hawks there would be if there were parents and a culture that gave them the respect and opportunity to completely develope their talents rather then tell them to stick there boards in their childhood closet of memories and grow up. I am sure there are plenty of skaters that think Tony is a big sell out. Well if that's true they should make sure that they don't skate any of the hundreds of skateparks that Tony has given money to help build. Especially the parks in lower-income communities.
4. Making the Olympics relavant and accessible to most youth: Skateboarding is now the 3rd most popular sport. Enough said.
Accessible: If you go to the Olympics chances are you are there because you are talented and benefited from some very specialized training and guidance- you were very previledged. Skating would give youth with less priviledged backgrounds the opportunity to go the Olympics. You really don't need a trainer and your own specialized facility. Just a skate park, talent and a lot of persistence.
What do you think????????????