Boise's skating community reacts to skateboarding in the Olympics

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 15:53:42-04

BOISE, Idaho — Skateboarding will join surfing, sport climbing and karate as new events in the Japan 2020 Olympics.

The skating scene in Boise has come a long way with Rhodes Skate Park and the city hosting the X Games qualifier three years in a row.

In fact, Japan's Misugu Okamoto, Italy's Ivan Federico and the flyin' Hawaiian Heimana Reynolds are all Olympians who have competed in Boise.

"I think it is pretty cool having it in the Olympics and seeing some people I’ve seen here in Boise compete in the Olympics," said local skater Jack Kajkowski.

Skateboarding came from the underground so not everybody is thrilled to see it in the Olympics as a competition because of the artistic flair, subjectiveness and personal connection that comes with skating.

"Skateboarding is kind of a weird thing there are a lot of people that aren’t a fan of skateboarding going into the Olympics because that is not the essence of what the sport is about," said Josh Davis of the Boise Skateboard Association. "But the reality is it is just more exposure for skateboarding and that’s a good thing, it helps us get more parks built throughout towns and communities.

The City of Boise did a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of Bowler Park off Surprise Way in East Boise, this 25-acre park features several amenities including a new place to skate.

"I can just ride my bike here and just skate for a few hours and then just ride my bike home," said Kajkowski. "It is pretty nice having this out here."

Many of these opportunities developed out of X Games and the popularity of skating because I can tell you when I was a kid skate parks didn't exist and skaters were looked at in a negative way, the Olympics could also increase the exposure of skating.

“The essence of skateboarding is not going to change it is a difficult sport," said Davis. "I don’t know if much changes other than there is just going to be more people involved in the industry which is a good thing it allows more access for everybody."

The skating competition begins on Saturday with the men's street and on Sunday the women will take their turn, click here for the schedule.