The International Olympic Committee is considering both surfing and skateboarding among other sports in the 2020 Olympics.
And while leaders in both camps are excited to be officially recognized on the world’s biggest stage, a small but vocal group of skateboarders have expressed their distaste.
More than 5,500 people identifying themselves of skateboard fans signed an on-line petition urging the IOC to forget about skateboarding in the 2020, according to the LA Times. Like all rebel sports and activities, it’s just not cool to be popular.
“Skateboarding is not a ‘sport’ and we do not want skateboarding exploited and transformed to fit into the Olympic program,” the online petition states. “We feel that Olympic involvement will change the face of skateboarding and its individuality and freedoms forever.”
Skateboarding got its start as an outlaw sport for disaffected youth, but since the X-games and other international competitions, the sport has grown in the mainstream. Tony Hawk and other popular leaders have been all-for the sports inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo games, while others like Bob Burnquist have joined the opposition.
Earlier this month, the IOC announced that when it came to surfing they would consider natural waves rather than a simulated wave pool as had been previously suggested, a decision which delighted the International Surfing Association.
“Surfing is hugely popular in Japan and the country has hosted many national and international competitions in a number of beautiful ocean locations,” ISA President Fernando Aguerre said in a press release. “There are some great and thriving beach-based Surfing hotspots to choose from which would be ideal for Olympic Surfing.
Surf Snowdonia, the groundbreaking wave pool in Sweden, has been beset with technical issues since it opened in August.
Photo credit: Paul Topp | Dreamstime