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With high-adrenaline acrobatics akin to those seen on the snow, skateboarding promises to wow and hook both existing and untapped Olympic audiences.
For its Olympic debut, skateboarding has a custom-built park on the shores of Tokyo Bay to play with.
The 40 men and 40 women will be chasing medals in two events — park, where they skate in a bowl, and street, where they navigate stairs, rails, curbs and other urban furniture. The street competitions are in the first week, on July 25 and 26. The park events round out week two, on Aug. 4 and 5.
Because skateboarding is so fluid and inventive, with hundreds of tricks, variants and possibilities to choose from, judging is less codified and more subjective than other sports. Judges will scrutinize the difficulty and execution of tricks and runs, and how skaters use and navigate obstacles. Originality and variety will earn more points.
The Tokyo Olympics could be a first step toward global fame for a skateboarder.
With no-fear stunts and polished messaging that age is irrelevant, the half-Japanese Brown is already a very visible 12-year-old, with a rich portfolio of sponsors and an array of social media accounts.
At the other end of the unusually broad age spectrum at the inaugural Olympic skateboarding competition will be Dallas Oberholtzer. The 46-year-old hails from South Africa, where he works on efforts to introduce young South Africans to the sport. (AP)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.