Oct. 10 2007 – Attempts to introduce skateboarding to the London Olympics have failed, which many hard-core riders think is a good thing.
Leaders of the Olympic movement were keen to debut the sport at the 2012 event in an attempt to boost the youth appeal of the Games. London Games organizers had earmarked the cycling velodrome in the Olympic Park as a venue for the inaugural Olympic skateboarding event.
But plans for the International Cycling Federation to adopt skateboarding as a “wheel-based” sport have faltered.
The proposals did not even make the organization’s agenda at its recent annual congress in Germany.
It canvassed opinion among its federations around the world, but they failed to give their unanimous backing and without the endorsement of a current Olympic sport, skateboarding’s chances were dead although it may feature as an “exhibition” event.
The federation remains in talks with the IOC about introducing an additional form of BMX for London.
The cycling sport will make its debut at next year’s Beijing games but, by 2012, a “freestyle” discipline could be added.
Skateboarders have been divided over the idea of taking part in the Olympics. Some would have welcomed the exposure, others said it would lead to a conformity that should be anathema to the sport that grew out of the Californian surf craze.
Kevin Parrott, secretary of the UK Skateboarding Association, said there were concerns that its introduction was being rushed.
“It has taken a long time to get competitive skateboarding right – both in the tone and technical aspects. The timetable to include it in the London Olympics was clearly too tight.”