Skateboarding made its debut at Tokyo 2020. Here are some of the key takeaways from an epic set of contests.
The standard of skateboarding at Tokyo 2020 was simply outstanding.
We were blessed to witness incredible moments of excellence: Japan’s Horigome Yuto landing a nollie 270 noseslide to secure the men’s street title just a few miles from where he learned to skate.
Skateboarding also showcased its community spirit with winners congratulated by skaters from all other nationalities.
Here's a look back at the Olympic skateboarding week, plus how to watch replays of the action (scroll down), what to watch out for ahead of Paris 2024 and a full list of medallists.
Top 5 skateboarding moments at Tokyo 2020
Number 1. Horigome Yuto and Tokyo 2020’s stressful men’s street final
It didn’t seem like the favourites were going to be anywhere near the podium. Both USA’s Nyjah Huston and Horigome Yuto of Japan were near the bottom end of the eight final competitors at one point.
As competition progressed, both were under supreme pressure to deliver under hot conditions. Yuto pulled out some laser-focused consistency in the best trick section of the competition to secure the gold medal.
“I’ve never felt so much pressure from, like, representing your country,” Nyjah said afterwards.
Nyjah was also quick to praise Yuto and the rest of the field despite his obvious disappointment on missing out on a podium place.
2021 Getty Images
Number 2: Fashion: Skateboarding’s statement of intent at the Olympics
It goes without saying that the fashion choices from the Olympic skaters was excellent. A 90s aesthetic was prominent throughout with bold colours in hair styles and T-shirts.
French skater Vincent Milou opted for an all-white ensemble that had echoes of tennis player Andre Agassi during his dominant years in Wimbledon.
Horigome Yuto’s T shirt, that was based on Mount Fuji, actually sold out pretty much instantly.
Number 3. Women’s street – Rayssa Leal
No matter how many times you watch it – the ‘fairy flip’ that Brazil’s Rayssa Leal landed back in 2015 deserves replay after replay.
She shared the video of her first meeting her hero and now teammate, Leticia Bufoni, after she secured a silver medal in the women’s street.
Leal is clearly in shock as Bufoni meets her for the first time on a Brazilian TV show.
Fast forward to Tokyo 2020 and the apprentice overcame the old master. There was nothing but respect between the pair with Bufoni basking in Leal’s achievement.
Number 4. Women’s park: a window into the future of skateboarding
The average age of the women’s park podium was 15. Winner Yosozumi Sakura of Japan is 19 with teammate and runner up, Hiraki Kokona, aged just 12. Bronze medallist, Team GB’s Sky Brown, turned 13 a few weeks before the Olympics started.
Number 5. Keegan Palmer – Close to perfection in the men’s park
The scores in the final were huge but Australia’s Keegan Palmer put down two runs that were close to perfection.
"It's an absolute honour to skate with my friends. I can't believe I'm here in Tokyo for the Olympics, skating with so many of my best friends from when I was little. And now we're all on the podium together," Palmer said.
2021 Getty Images
Skateboarding at Tokyo 2020: One last look at Pedro Barros
Brazil's Pedro Barros has been a mainstay of skating for years. He gave a passionate speech about what skateboarding meant to him.
Skateboarding is a community, it’s a lifestyle. It goes way beyond just a sport. But it’s beautiful to see that we were able to do here now, competing in the biggest sport event in the world that showcases the power that we truly have when we’re together, sharing love and respect. It’s beautiful.
Tokyo 2020 replays: When and where to watch?
We've got you covered - right here.
With so many youthful faces bursting onto the skate scene, it’s hard to make predictions about who will be back for more skateboarding at Paris 2024.
Nyjah Huston is 26 so its entirely possible that he will be back for more at Paris 2024 as well.
“I’m going to be a little older then,” Nyjah said. “But maybe.”
2021 Getty Images
When does Horigome Yuto compete next?
The exact line-ups for the SLS haven’t been confirmed yet. The dates for the next X Games in 2022 are also still tbc. The best place to stay up-to-date with Yuto is over on his Instagram.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Medallists
Horigome Yuto – Japan – Gold
Kelvin Hoefler – Brazil – Silver
Jagger Eaton – USA – Bronze
Nishiya Momiji – Japan – Gold
Rayssa Leal – Brazil – Silver
Nakayama Funa – Japan – Bronze
Yosozumi Sakura – Japan – Gold
Hiraki Kokona – Japan – Silver
Sky Brown – Great Britain - Bronze
Keegan Palmer – Australia – Gold
Pedro Barros – Brazil – Silver
Cory Juneau – USA – Bronze