Olympic rings are property of the IOC / left image Ian Logan / right image via Street League
Big news this week with skateboarding now being on the short list for the 2020 games. It's been the talk of the skateboard world to some extent, and a subject people are extremely passionate about. We have heard the "for" comments from skaters like Shaun White & Tony Hawk, and also people in the skateboarding community that say "hell no, we don't want skateboarding in the Olympics. Ever.".
But one thing we haven't discussed is how this proposal has already had an extremely positive impact on women's skateboarding. And it definitely has.
While it's still up in the air as to which discipline of skateboarding would be the one selected (vert, bowl or street) we have already seen street skateboarding make a move to be the forerunner.
This weekend we will see the inclusion of women competing in Street League for the very first time. And it won't be a women's event where you have to wait for someone to either Periscope, add it to Facebook, or see clips on instagram. You will be able to watch it live, just like the men's events. The women that were selected to compete in Street League have been seen on Street League's site in profiles, videos and mentioned in the announcements for the comp. That's great exposure for women in our sport.
In women's vert we have seen changes too - Allysha Bergado recently started riding for Creature, and the super positive announcement they put out to announce her team rider status was pretty mind blowing. When a male dominated company shows the world, with no hesitation, that they support an amazing pro female skater - that says a lot. And proves that positive change for women in our sport is really happening.
That all might seem like normal stuff for people outside the action sports realm, but those of us involved in the sport, we all know this is a huge milestone. One that us girls who competed in the pro vert divisions in the 1970's have been waiting for forever.
So why are we seeing these huge and positive changes? It could be because it's seriously way overdue, but more than likely it's due to the serious talk of skateboarding being included in the 2020 games and changes need to be made now to make sure that happens.
The Olympics have this amazing rule. Any new sport that is added must include men and women's divisions. So if one of the three federations in skateboarding, vying for control moving into the Olympics, wants to be considered, they need to show that women are already being included and set the stage so that the women can participate in qualifying through a series of events, once the time comes.
So it really doesn't matter if you are pro or con about skateboarding being included in the 2020 Olympics, just know that even the talk of it, has already helped women's skateboarding by leaps and bounds.
And that is a GREAT thing.