, Skateboarding at Tokyo 2020: the new Olympic event rules and when to watch Sky Brown for Team GB, The Nzuchi Times

Skateboarding at Tokyo 2020: the new Olympic event rules and when to watch Sky Brown for Team GB

, Skateboarding at Tokyo 2020: the new Olympic event rules and when to watch Sky Brown for Team GB, The Nzuchi Times

Tapping straight into the younger audience, skateboarding is guaranteed to bring something different to the Olympic Games. 

Its inclusion has proved divisive inside and outside of skateboarding circles, with one side welcoming more exposure while critics worry the Games could potentially damage the culture and lifestyle associated with the sport.

In an attempt to maintain the creative feel of the sport, pumping background music will accompany each rider.

When is skateboarding at Tokyo 2020?

Sunday, July 25 – Men’s street: prelims and final (01:00-05:55)

Monday, July 26 – Women’s street: prelims and final (01:00-05:55)

Wednesday, Aug 4 – Men’s park: prelims and final (01:00-05:40)

Thursday, Aug 5 – Women’s park: prelims and final (01:00-05:40)

Where is it?

Ariake Urban Sports Park

Located in the waterfront area close to the Athletes’ Village and the Big Sight venue, which will house the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre, the park will breathe new life into the Games with a touch of the youth movement.

What is the competition format?

One athlete rides at a time, with the freedom to choose which parts of the course to cover and which tricks to perform. 


The course should look familiar to anyone who has been to a skatepark before with features that echo those found in urban sites around the world. Competitors demonstrate a range of tricks while riding along stairs, handrails, curbs, benches, walls and banks.

Comprising both a preliminary round and final, skaters will perform two 45-second runs and five individually scored tricks in each round.  Each skater in the heat performs a single attempt at a time, and the order of skaters progresses through the heat completely before moving on to the next attempt beginning with the first skater in the heat.  

In the preliminary round, 20 skaters compete in four heats of five skaters based on a random draw. The top eight skaters overall (regardless of heat) advance to the final.  


Park skating has its roots firmly in the drained swimming pools that skaters first used in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles when skateboarding first emerged. The smooth bowls have steep curved inclines meaning skaters can achieve massive height and have the freedom to put together a run as they see fit.

Competition consists of a preliminary round and final round with three runs of 45 seconds per athlete in each. In the preliminary round, 20 skaters compete in four heats of five skaters by random draw. Best score from the three runs counts, with the top eight skaters overall (regardless of heat) advancing. In the final, scores are wiped clear and eight skaters have three 45-second timed runs again. 

How does the scoring work?

Judges will score athletes based on speed, difficulty, originality, timing, stability and the overall flow of the performance. One important skill in particular that judges will be on the lookout for is the ability to seem suspended in midair. 


Both of the runs, and each of the five tricks, will be judged by five judges using a 0-10.0 points scale. The highest and lowest are dropped with the remaining three scores averaged out to give a score for each run and trick (seven scores). The best four scores from runs or tricks will be added to give the total round score (best possible score is 40).

In the event of a tie-break, the highest-scoring run decides the winner. If still tied, the five judges will vote electronically on who is first.


Five judges will evaluate competitors using a 0-100-point scale. The highest and lowest scores are dropped, and the remaining three scores are averaged to calculate a score for each run.  

, Skateboarding at Tokyo 2020: the new Olympic event rules and when to watch Sky Brown for Team GB, The Nzuchi Times

 The score of the second-highest run decides any tie break. If still tied, the next highest run score breaks the tie. This continues until the tie is broken. If it is still impossible to break the tie, the jury votes to break it and each judge has one vote. 

Any Brits in action?

Sky Brown, who will become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian in Tokyo, is a serious medal contender despite her tender years. She will be joined in the park competition by British champion Bombette Martin after the New York-born 14-year-old also qualified a quota spot for Britain. 

On the men’s side, Alex Decunha came up short in qualifying in the street discipline.

Other names to watch out for


For the Japanese  fans, Yuto Horigome has the potential to excite, having finished as runner-up to American favourite and eight-time X Games gold medallist Nyjah Huston at the World Skate/World Championships in 2019.

Leticia Bufoni is one of the favourites for victory in the women’s section of street. The Brazilian has been a consistent performer at the World Skate/World Championships since winning the title in 2015.

As with park, the younger generation have much promise, with fellow Brazilians Pamela Rosa and Rayssa Leal capable of challenging. 

Filipino professional street skateboarder Margielyn Didal, the 2018 Asian Games champion, also qualified.


Brazilian bowl destroyer Pedro Barros was crowned world champion in 2018 and will be a leading contender. Double Olympic snowboarding silver medallist Ayumu Hirano will make his summer Games bow for Japan, the 22-year-old succeeding in doubling up where Shaun White failed.

Also qualifying in the men’s competition is 46-year-old double X Games gold medallist Rune Glifberg from Denmark.

Challenging Britain’s Sky Brown will be a strong Japanese contingent including Sakura Yosozumi, the top-ranked female park skater in the world. 

One of Sky’s heroes, Lizzie Armanto, grew up in California in the USA but chose to represent Finland at the Games. 

Key phrases 


When the predominant foot is leading and will be used to initiate a trick. 


A move that involves the board spinning on any or a variety of its axes.


A skater is goofy-footed if they skate with the right foot at the head of the board (and “regular” if the left foot is at the head of the board).


The trucks of the skateboard grinds along the edge of an obstacle.


The basis for most tricks in skateboarding. A skater uses their back foot to smack the tail of the board against the ground, while the front foot pulls the board up into the air. 

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