It’s Time to Make Longboarding an Olympic Event

22 02 2010

Watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics has been highly entertaining thus far. The games remind us of the true meaning of sportsmanship and friendly competition. Last night, I almost got in a knife fight with an elderly Canadian woman talking trash aboot the American curling team’s lack of form. USA! USA! USA! All of these winter evens full of adrenaline junkies, speed freaks and fearless masochists made me realize how perfect longboarding would be as an Olympic sport.

So how does a sport become an Olympic event? Up until 1992, there would be demonstrations of potential Olympic Sports to gauge public interest. This is how ice shuffleboard aka curling became official. A sport or discipline is included in the Olympic program if the IOC determines that it is widely practiced around the world. That is, the number of countries that compete in a given sport is the indicator of the sport’s prevalence. However, to have countries competing n a sport prior to Olympic consideration, they need to have an international governing body, namely an International Federation. This sports governing body creates a common set of rules for the sports disciplines, organizes international competitions, and appeals to the IOC for acceptance.

There are a number of sports the IOC recognizes, which is an important step to becoming Olympic. Most of these recognized sports compete in the World Games. Neither skateboarding nor longboarding are part of these games. However, the IOC does recognize the International Roller Sports Federation. The FIRS includes inline hockey, speed skating, artistic roller skating, and the “emerging sports” inline downhill and freestyle skateboarding.

There are so many things wrong with this, I hardly know where to begin. Firstly, having any kind of skateboarding considered a “roller sport” and represented by the same group that promotes men dressed like matadors dancing on roller skates to “Who’s that Lady” is offensive. There is a time and place for that, and its Saturdays at noon in Central Park at 72nd street. And secondly, that these morons consider a sport that has 20 million and rising participants short and longboarding religiously “emerging” is absurd.

The first step is the creation of an International Longboard Federation. There is already hundreds of regional and national organizations set-up waiting to be a part of competition on the world stage. The Australian Skateboard Racing Association is renowned for their downhill, luge, slalom and freestyle tournaments. And we all know New York has developed the fine art of outlaw street racing, which along with sliding would make five excellent disciplines of longboarding that are highly entertaining for both spectators and participants alike.

With sports such as surfing and wakeboarding competing in the World Games, and BMX and snowboarding as Olympic events, longboarding is ready to explode onto the international scene. After Shaun White’s electrifying near perfect Gold medal performance in Vancouver, its time to make longboarding a Summer Olympic event. Longboarding is aggressive, fast, smooth, intense, and pretty damn fun. It’s time to rally the troops, and show the world how we roll (on a really long skateboard).

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11 responses

22 02 2010
Glasny

The first step should be longskate recognised by the X-Games. That’s the only way to show the IOC that longskating is a popular sport watched by millions of people.

22 02 2010
jhayes167

thus us true. espn needs to get their heads out of their asses

22 02 2010
emgeemann

Very true. Other sports have made the jump from x-games to olympics, several actually, and if DH/slalom/other forms of “long”skating got great ratings at x-games the jump would be much easier.

Nice article

15 10 2010
Donovan

It use to be in the gravity games/x games a while ago but they got rid of it because it was too intense. Going 60mph on a skateboard and some of the crashes they considered too much to show on tv and it could set up bad examples for kids to start trying it and then they would get hurt. Personally, I’m glad it isn’t big, If DH longboarding was a big sport it would be or will be soon enough where skateboarding(short boarding) is.

22 02 2010
Simon

i agree with 100 procent dude, theres no reason it shouldent be in the olympics.
i think most people in the world would agree that the winter olympics is much moore funnier to watch just becuse all of the action sports it has.
summer olympics needs sports like downhill skateboarding if it wants to stay popular.

greetings from Sweden!

22 02 2010
jhayes167

word up. lets make it happen

23 02 2010
Matt

You do all know that DH and Luge were in the X-Games right? They were taken out because of the amount of injuries happening on the course…

23 02 2010
jhayes167

i was not aware. that seems like a terrible reason to take the sport out

9 04 2010
Should longboarding be added as an Olympic sport? « New-Boarding

[…] 9, 2010 by Michelle J. Hayes of Brooklyn Barbarosa, a New York-based longboarding blog, pondered this very idea in the middle of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Hayes explained how a sport becomes Olympic and offered […]

17 04 2010
shakes

There are international federations like the ISF (www.internationalskateboardingfederation.com) and the ISSA (http://www.slalomskateboarder.com/).

Why aren’t they members of SportAccord/GAISF (www.sportaccord.com ) is unclear.

Defiantly, gaining membership there is the first step toward IOC recognition…

17 04 2010
jhayes167

true. it is hard to even find these federations because they dont advertise in the right places. But word is spreading, and a longboarding storm is a comin

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