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An Olympic skateboarding explainer: What is happening with park and street in Tokyo

There’s two different disciplines in Tokyo and while they may look similar, they require two different sets of skills.

Scenes from the Ariake Urban Sports Park where Olympic skateboarders practice before competition starts in a few days. Skating legend Tony Hawk was skating, as well, doing a photo shoot to promote the new Olympic sport. Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Olympic skateboarding will take place over two events for both genders: Men’s and women’s park, and men’s and women’s street.

Park has some street elements, but a bit more chance for verticality as well. Concrete bowls and a big tabletop in the middle of the course should give a chance for more grabs and spins in the air. Though there’s no halfpipe in Olympic skateboarding (and let’s face it, there absolutely needs to be), this will be the closest thing.

Olympics.org

Street is similar, but the obstacles and elements are more like what you see people skating when on your lunch break from your office downtown. There’s plenty of steps, rails, and edges to grind a board on either regular or “fakie” (the opposite way of your dominant hand, left or right) or “switch” (standing on the board reversed from the way you’d normally do so).

Olympics.org

And while the legend Tony Hawk will be there only as a TV commentator (but if anyone deserves an honorary gold medal for what they’ve done for a sport, it’s this guy), there are a new generation of stars that could be taking the sport to a mainstream visibility level not seen in a long time.

Nyjah Huston, the highest paid skateboarder in the world and the Michael Phelps of the X Games, is a +100 favorite to win the men’s street competition at DraftKings Sportsbook. 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki is the youngest competitor in the 2020 Games in any sport, and 13-year-old Sky Brown of Great Britain can do things like this. It should be amazing to see these athletes take the sport to the next level with the eyes of the world on them.

Here is the schedule for skateboarding at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Men’s street: Saturday, July 24th

Heats - 7:30 p.m. - 10:36 p.m.
Final - 11:25 p.m.

Gold: Yuto Horigome, (Japan)
Silver: Kelvin Hoefler, (Brazil)
Bronze: Jagger Eaton, (USA)

Women’s street: Sunday, July 25th

Heats - 7:30 p.m. - 10:36 p.m.
Final - 11:25 p.m.

Women’s park: Tuesday, August 3rd

Heats - 8:00 p.m. - 10:48 p.m.
Final - 11:30 p.m.

Men’s park: Wednesday, August 4th

Heats - 8:00 p.m. - 10:48 p.m.
Final - 11:30 p.m.