What Is The Next Olympic Action Sport?

5 01 2012

With all the talk of the FIS taking the reins on the Olympic slopestyle qualifications lately, and the fact that Shaun White says his next real focus will be to get skateboarding in the games I have been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of action sports in the world’s largest mainstream sporting event.

What are the chances Shaun succeeds in bringing the shred to the Olympics yet again?  If he does, what will it look like?  And finally what impact will this have on another of the sports we love so much?

To answer the first question, in a word I’d say yes.  I truly believe that thanks to the success of the winter sports as well as the recent addition of BMX to the games there is a very good chance that in the near-ish future we could see skate make an appearance alongside the other Olympic exercises.  The reasons why I believe this are plenty but in the interest of holding your interest I will try keep it to a few.

For starters the Olympics is trying so hard to be cool that there really is no telling what lengths they will go to in order to modernize the games.  With that being said let’s look at some of the criteria in place to get a sport included.

The IOC states that for inclusion “A sport first has to be recognized: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport’s activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practiced around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognized sport may be added to the Olympic programme on the recommendation of the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission.”

Of those criteria I fail to see one that isn’t already in place, with the obvious exception of it not being recommended to the IOC itself, but that part is relatively easy.

The sport has mass appeal worldwide, has millions of participants and can be done in more locations than nearly any other sport.  Add to that the fact that all you need for a venue in the case of White’s version is a single ramp, able to be constructed in any pre-existing Olympic-ready building.  So I think there is a solid case to be made for it as an easy fit.  As for the other form of the sport…

…On to the next issue.

What form would “Olympic Skateboarding” take, and here is my thought is that.  Any Olympic version of a sport seems to be the least threatening version possible.  By that of course I mean the IOC charter speaks in volume about fair play, sportsmanship and a bunch of other things that make the street skating side of the sport a little scary at first glance.  Halfpipe skating however, has the ability to transform itself into this clean cut account of the sport, where there is no need to be raw, and rough and get kicked out of your “venue” by the cops.  Ramp skating can be seen as Danny Way’s monumental leap in China, or Mitchie Busco, potentially the cutest little nug of a skater ever hucking a 900 and being praised by the elders of the sport.  So I think that if and when skate gets in, halfpipe will be the tip of the sword.

Ending off this rant, I’d just like to talk a little about “What impact this might have on skate, and the other ‘alternative sports’”.  This is where I feel like it gets tricky.  Look at the effect that snowboarding in the Olympics had on the sport as a whole; they decided to put racing in the Olympics years back and the concept of a stiff, ski-style boot still makes some people (including myself) a little nauseous.  Then look at what happened when a snowboarder was caught smoking weed (not inhaling, or whatever) great for the public image of the sport that’s for sure.

Action sports are forced to fight for respect and media attention every day, but in the same breathe I don’t know if altering our image to fit the mold of the perfect aspirational athletes is the way to get it either.

Outside of that, think of the impact it has on people inside the sport, who live it, and don’t want to see something they love taken from them and tainted for the sake of fitting in.  Terje’s Olympic boycott, and the current issues facing slopestyle are shining examples of that, and it is a solid truth that if we don’t send the best in the sport, no one wins.

So what I am saying with all of this is that the chances of skateboarding, and eventually a host of other action sports cracking the list of events in humanity’s oldest sporting festival are pretty good.  But whether or not that is what’s best for the sports themselves, or the athletes who perform them remains to be seen.

As always, thanks for listening,



Grenade Games: Day 3 – I Hope The IOC Was Watching

23 04 2010

Day 3 of the Grenade Games went down today at everybody’s favourite over-publicized hill, good ol’ Whis.

I really hope the International Olympic Committee was paying attention. If you want to have racing in the Winter Olympics, it should look like this. Enjoy

Up In The Sky: It’s A Birdman!

7 04 2010

Continuing my quest to post more videos than Youtube, I found this misty little nug. It’s a birdman… It’s a ninja… It’s Tony Hawk.

Inspired by our pipe-slicing Olympic rebel, Kazuhiro Kokubo, Tony Hawk learned a new flipy-spin. Check this out. It’s a Japan Air McTwist. The same flipy-spin made famous by the Hokkiado shred.

I was really taken back by the legends ability to not only maintain his high level of riding, but to shatter the limits of shred steeze. Take notes!

Click The Pic!

On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone

16 03 2010

Last night my roommate handed me a copy of Rolling Stone, on newsstands now. The reason he gave it to me was because Shaun White is the cover boy.  Obviously I read it, but it wasn’t what I expected.  Ya it said Shaun won gold in Vancouver, but that was about the extent of the predictable.  The article cover things more along the lines of what the Shauner listens to on the road and how he hates Miley Cyrus.  Well her music anyway.  I mean who can really hate that girl?

The majority of the article talked about White’s tastes outside of snowboarding and how he plans to focus more on skating in the future.  Some of the Tomato’s goals for the next few years include getting skating in the Olympics and smoking people at that.

I was interested to read about how normal the kid really is.  He just wants to skate around and look at old rock n’ roll artifacts, like Axl Rose’s jacket which is on display at the Hard Rock in Vegas.  He explains to Rolling Stone how the things in the casino allow him the mental freedom to part ways with $60, 000 in one sitting.

Anyways… I won’t ruin the whole thing for you.  Go grab a copy at 7-11.  While you’re there, if anyone wants to get me a Slurpee that would be rad too!

One Step At A Time

24 02 2010

If you have been following the Olympics, streetjesus, or snowboarding at all, you know that Vermont gangsta and close Frend to many Kevin Pearce has been in critical, and serious condition since the end of December.  We have been closely following the state of our boy, as we are well aware that it might take a little help from the jesus for Kev to get up and ripping again.

We knew that Kevin was taking steps in the right direction, and now we have proof that he is a machine.  Whoever said progress was a slow process obviously doesn’t know KP, he’s a P.I.M.P!  With Pearce fighting for his life 6 weeks ago, nobody knew how this was going to play out.  After watching this footage, courtesy of Leanne Pelosi’s facebook and Tom Brokaw’s camera crew I’m calling it a win!

All it took was the last minute of this video for me to make my call.  Look at the kid!  That trademark grin is rockin’ and when you take a high level physical rockstar and get him up and moving it’s only a matter of time before he will be updating his own facebook again!

Peep the video and keep the good vibes rolling his way!  Kevin, we are all pulling for you on this one bud, get well!

Alright, it’s 4:10 AM… I’m going back to sleep!


The Star Spangled Banger

18 02 2010

Off the “Ricker” Scale!

16 02 2010

If this is your first time reading this, please post in the reply section that this is your first day on the Internet, and we will make sure to email you direct with posts from now on.


Maelle Ricker won gold today in Women’s Snowboard Cross.  The Vancouver girl couldn’t have picked a more dramatic way in which to capture the top spot.  In the early part of the day, the course looked a little sketchy.  Maelle and several others had a tough time with the conditions, and went down on their first qualifying run.  While Maelle managed to put together a solid second run and get into the quarterfinals, Dominique Maltais was not so lucky.  Going off the course in her first run and failing to clock a quick enough time in her second run, her day was done early as she finished a distant 20th.

Ricker moved on to the quarterfinal round, where she won her heat in a little more vintage fashion and got through to the semis.  In the second semifinal heat, she was up against heavy favorite Lindsey Jacobellis.  The beginning of the heat was tightly contested as we all figured it would be, until the American went down, allowing the girl from West Van to advance to the final.  In the last race of the day, Maelle showed true form… getting the holeshot and leading the pack from wire to wire.  Jamie Campbell did a hell of a job sending shivers down my spine with his call of  “Almost Home!” as she came over the last step down jump, and I’m pretty sure my whole building heard my champion arms go up!

Thanks to Maelle and Dominique for continuing the strong riding by Canada at Cypress, and allowing me a few fleeting moments to boast to the Jefton about our country’s snowboard skills!

Watch the winning run here


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