Horigome Yuto: His story and the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics 

Follow Horigomoe Yuto’s story at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and re-live his magic moments

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Horigome Yuto of Japan won the Olympic gold medal in the first ever men’s Olympic street skateboarding contest at Tokyo 2020.

Nyjah Huston of the USA was the heavy favourite going into the competition but Horigome strung together some incredible ‘best tricks’ to secure victory at the Olympics in Japan.

He crowned the memorable performance with an incredible nollie 270 noseslide that earned a high-scoring 9.5

The amazing victory, in the shadow of Mount Fuji, also saw the shirt he was wearing to instantly sell out online.

What made this victory so special? Where can you watch Yuto and the other street skateboarders in action next? And what are the other victories he made on his way to Olympic glory?

Horigome Yuto: Why was it so special

Hometown hero Horigome Yuto grew up nearby to the Ariake Urban Sports Park. He visited skateparks with his father as a child.

Yuto even wrote in his elementary-school yearbook that his dream was to “to become the best skateboarder in the world.”

"It felt significant to return to Koto ward, it meant so much more for me," he said after the gold medal win according to Reuters.

Now, he lives in Los Angeles. He moved to hone his craft surrounded by the best in the world.

Horigome Yuto
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Horigome Yuto: Where to see him next

The Street League Skateboarding (SLS) set of contests have faced serious challenges in putting together a tour during the pandemic.

The exact line-up for their three dates have not been confirmed. But it’s expected that Horigome Yuto will compete.

All the stops for the 2021 season are in the USA.

The first is from August 27-28 and in Salt Lake City. Stop two is from October 29-30 and in Miami.

A final stop will be in Jacksonville, Florida, from November 13-14.

Aside from contests, the best way to follow skateboarding is via Instagram where most skaters post regular videos with the tricks hey are working on.

Horigome Yuto: The past glories

Yuto has only won one X Games title in street skateboarding at Minneapolis in 2019.

But he showed how in-form he was ahead of the Olympics by winning the 2021 Street Skateboarding World Championships.

Yuto stormed onto the scene in 2017 with some stand out performances in the SLS in 2017. By May 2019, he had a board deal. He rides for Shane O’Neill’s April Skateboards.

He received one of the biggest honours in the world of skateboarding – a Thasher Magazine front cover – in April 2021.

Horigome Yuto: My heroes

Yuto lists his heroes as Shane O’Neill of Australia who was in the Olympic competition in Tokyo. O’Neill was the 2016 world champion in street.

He also mentions the legendary Eric Koston – who co-founded the influential skate park / website / social media juggernaut ‘The Berrics’.

He also picked out Guy Mariano, Mike Carroll, and Gino Iannucci as influences.

Horigome Yuto
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Horigome Yuto: Not the only one

Japan may not be always the most welcoming place for skateboarders.

“Skateboarding is still a minor sport,” Horigome said according to the Associated Press. “I want to show how skateboarding is fun.”

With five podium places, Japan won more Olympic medals in skateboarding than any other nation.

Yosozumi Sakura and Kokona Hiraki came first and second in the women’s park discipline. Nishiya Momiji and Nakayama Funa took first and third respectively in the women’s street.

Perhaps the success at the Olympics may see wider acceptance of skating in general in Japan.

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