Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk won’t be around to compete, but he’s been involved in discussions and seems confident skateboarding will become an Olympic sport.
“I don’t know if it’s too definite or not, but I have heard it’s very likely going to be in the 2020 Games,” Hawk told Larry King in an interview aired last week.
The problem with that is the International Olympic Committee set its sport program for the 2020 Olympics last year, keeping wrestling over adding baseball/softball or squash. But the opportunity moving forward remains.
“Under the leadership of the IOC president Thomas Bach the composition of the program, together with a number of other themes, is being discussed as part of a wider reflection on the future of the Olympic movement and its activities,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said, according to ESPN.com. “Key decisions are expected to be made by the end of 2014.”
It’s been reported that baseball/softball could still be added for 2020, if the Olympic Charter is amended. Currently, a rule mandates Olympic sports must be on the Olympic program at the IOC session that elects that Games’ host city. In 2013, the 2020 Olympics were awarded to Tokyo.
But changes could be made.
“If the opportunity exists to make such adjustments to the Olympic Games less than seven years before, I would be in favor,” Bach said in February, according to the Los Angeles Times. “If the IOC, the international federations and the organizing committee agree, the seven-year rule need not apply.”
Hawk would be 52 years old come 2020 and conceded he would be too old to compete. But that’s not dampening his drive.
“If you look at the success of snowboarding in the Winter Games and how that’s brought a more youthful edge to the Olympics in general, they don’t have that with the Summer Games,” Hawk said. “They don’t have anything that’s drawing in a younger viewership.
“To be honest, I think they need skateboarding more than we need them because skateboarding’s popularity is solidified, for the most part, in a lot of countries.”