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Skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics: When it starts and how to watch


Skateboarding is at the Tokyo Olympics and it’s been awesome so far.


HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

The street portion of skateboarding has already come and gone at the Tokyo Olympics but the park section is still incoming. Here’s what you need to know…

Skateboarder jumping at a skate park.

The park discipline will feature a course that resembles a large basin with lots of dips, twists and turns.


Daniel Milchev/Getty Images

When and where are the skateboarding events?

Olympic skateboarders will compete in Tokyo at the Aomi Urban Sports Venue, which will also host 3×3 Basketball and Sport Climbing. The street portion takes place on the 25th and 26th of July. The Park event takes place on the 4th and 5th of August.

What will the event be like?

Skateboarding at the Olympics features two disciplines: park and street. 

The park competition will take place on a hollowed-out course featuring a complex series of twists and turns. Park courses resemble large bowls with steep sides, nearly vertical at the top. Skaters send themselves to dizzying heights, performing jaw-dropping spins and tricks midair, and then gracefully bring themselves back down to the bowl to do it all over again on the other side. 

The street competition features a straight course with stairs, handrails, benches, walls and slopes to mimic a real street. This kind of skateboarding is characterized by riding along curbs and rails, leaping into the air without using hands, and that familiar grind of board on metal. 

Olympic skateboarders will experience at least some of the creative freedom they get in their home parks and streets: They’re free to choose which parts of the course to cover and, of course, which tricks to perform. Also, in an attempt to maintain the feel of the sport, music will accompany each rider. 

Only one athlete rides at a time, and competitors get three timed runs to post their best score.

Young men skateboarding in urban environment.

The street discipline mimics what it’s like to skateboard in a city environment. The course will feature rails, benches, curbs and other things you’d find on a real street.


MoMo Productions/Getty Images

How will athletes be judged?

Judges will score athletes based on speed, difficulty, originality, timing, stability and the overall flow of the performance. One important skill judges will be looking for is the ability to seem suspended in midair. 


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