Skateboarding: The top things to look out for as skaters become Olympians at Tokyo 2020

The Olympic Games welcomes skateboarders for the first time – here’s a guide to what is about to go down in Japan.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Skateboarding history will be made as the first skaters take on the course in the Ariake Park to become Olympians.

So, who are the stars? What does the course look like? What is the schedule?

We’ve got you covered as skateboarding makes its he first official appearance at the Olympic Games.

A look into the future 
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Street skateboarding: Nyjah Huston and Felipe Gustavo

Street skateboarding is influenced by features you see in any urban setting: steps, ledges, rails, and ramps.

Skaters prepare their tricks in advance then utilise the purpose-built course to showcase the very best of their talents to impress the judges.

The number one ranked street skateboarder in the world is Nyjah Huston of the USA.

Get ready for the Olympic excitement 
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

He’s won more contests than pretty much anyone else since time began and is the big favourite to bring home the first Olympic gold in skateboarding.

It’s not a done deal by any means with Brazilians Felipe Gustavo and Kelvin Hoefler serving up top class performances over the years.

Aurelien Giraud of France has posted some simply sublime skateboarding on Instagram recently. He’s one to watch.

Yuto Horigome of Japan has won top competitions on a number of occasions and it wouldn’t be that surprising if he topped the podium either.

How to watch: The men’s street final starts at 12:25pm JST on Sunday 25 July.

Street skateboarding women: Leticia Bufoni, Rayssa Leal, and a tough competition

The competition for the first Olympic gold medal in skateboarding for women is wide open.

Brazil’s Leticia Bufoni is one of the most consistent performers of the past decade and won the world title in 2015.

But even qualification for the Games themselves was complicated for Bufoni with fellow Brazilians Pamela Rosa and Rayssa Leal rising up the world rankings to places one and two respectively.

Leal was born in 2008 and is aged just 13 when competition starts. Her rise to the top of the game has not come overnight. She went viral for landing a heel flip in a fairy outfit back in 2015.

Japan will be rooting for Nishimura Aori who won the last big competition before the Olympics in 2021.

There was heartbreak for Dutch skater Candy Jacobs as she was ruled out of the competition following a positive COVID-19 test.

How to watch: The women’s street final starts at 12:25pm JST on Monday 25 July.

Park skateboarding women: Sky Brown and Lizzie Armanto

Sky Brown’s journey to Tokyo 2020 has been unbelievable and documented on her well-maintained Instagram and YouTube accounts.

The 13-year-old is already one of the stars of the Games with her easy charm and incredible talent.

She’s one of the favourites for the title in the park discipline along with top-ranked Japanese pair Okamoto Misugu and Yosozumi Sakura.

Park skaters take on vertical drops into smooth concrete bowls. Expect huge airtime, speed, and crash landings.

Representing Finland, Lizzie Armanto has recovered from one of the biggest crashes of her illustrious career to make it to Tokyo. Lizzie was also the first female skater to tame Tony Hawk’s infamous 360 loop.

USA are represented by Jordyn Barratt, Brighton Zeuner, and Bryce Wettstein

How to watch: The women’s park final starts at 12:25pm JST on Wednesday 4 August.

Park skateboarding men: Zion Wright’s fairy-tale qualification

It’s rare to have a double threat skater like USA’s Zion Wright.

The accomplished street skater rocked up to the last Olympic qualification event ranked 114th in the world where only a win would secure his place at the Games.

He did it in style. “All gas, no brakes, as my dad would say,” said Wright according to NBC.

Top-ranked American skaters Heimana Reynolds and Cory Juneau could mean the USA sweep the podium in the male park discipline.

Looking to spoil the party are Brazilian pair Luiz Francisco and the legendary Pedro Barros.

How to watch: The women’s park final starts at 12:25pm JST on Thursday 5 August.